Spectre of drought looms large in several parts of country

The spectre of drought looms large over several parts of India this year as predictions of poor monsoon gain ground, raising fears of a fall in output of food crops and difficulties on water and power fronts even as the Centre coordinates with the states on tackling the situation.

Vast swathes of farm land covering several lakhs of hectares in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka have not seen any sowing this season as they brace for drought-like situation, according to reports compiled by PTI bureaux across the country.
Rains so far have been deficient in the country as a whole by 43 per cent, according to the Met department.

Officials across states are still chary of coming out with likely fall in production because they hope monsoon will stage a late revival and make up for shortage in sowing areas.
Already reports of deficient monsoon have led to a spike in prices of food articles, vegetables and fruits. The Centre has sought to play down the fears and is planning a slew of measures like diesel and seed subsidy for farmers if states declare drought. On the other hand, it has also announced a series of measures like amending the Essential Commodities Act to take deterrent steps against hoarding and black marketing.

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