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Kerala reeling under worst drought in a century, says government

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-03-2017 Nidheesh M.K.

Bengaluru: Kerala is going through its worst drought in a century, damaging 30,353 hectares of agricultural land and resulting in a loss of Rs225 crore, according to state government estimates.

Kerala revenue minister E. Chandrasekharan, during the budget session of the assembly on Wednesday, said only 44% of water remains in the state’s reservoirs as on 17 January, adding it was a “grave situation”, Deccan Chronicle reported.

In October, Mint reported that the state could be bracing for its worst drought in history in 2017.

Kerala witnessed shortage of 34% in southwest monsoon between June and September last year, which contributes close to 70% of its annual rainfall. The northeast monsoon between October and December too was delayed, as it has still not started raining even until end October, forcing the state to declare drought in October.

With the approach of summer, extreme weather conditions seem to be unravelling. Most parts of Kerala are witnessing dry conditions and water shortages, along with a collapse in farmlands across the state, according to reports in local newspapers.

The minister said that restrictions have been placed on digging borewells in the state, and Rs29.5 crore has been disbursed to districts to tackle drinking water problems.

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