Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh on Saturday launched a water conservation scheme with an outlay of Rs 467.32 crore to provide benefits to farmers in the state that experienced drought last year.
Under the programme, 2,133 ponds will be renovated and 2,795 percolation tanks will be constructed in all the blocks of 24 districts of the state, an official release said.
The minister also laid the foundation for the renovation work of 71 ponds and 184 percolation tanks. A percolation tank is an artificially created surface water body to recharge groundwater storage. ”The government is making all efforts for benefit of Jharkhand farmers,” he said at a programme in Ranchi’s Nagri area.
He said the state government received 31.33 lakh applications from drought-hit farmers and 8.5 lakhs of them have so far been given financial aid. ”Our effort is to provide Rs 1,200 crore as relief to 30 lakh drought-affected farmers soon,” he said.
The JMM-led government had, on October 29 last year, declared 226 of the 260 blocks of the state as ”drought-affected” zones and decided to provide a cash relief of Rs 3,500 to each farming family hit by the scarcity of rain.