Akhilesh Yadav govt declares 44 districts drought-hit in Uttar Pradesh

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Lucknow, Sept 18: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government on Wednesday declared 44 out of 75 districts as drought-hit and also sought an assistance of Rs 6,000 crore from the Central government.

The drought-hit districts received 50 per cent less than normal rainfall, during this year monsoon season.

SP spokesperson told media that Akhilesh took the decision on Tuesday night, after the state began the process of identifying drought-hit districts to begin relief measures.

"To provide respite to farmers of the drought-hit districts, the state government has decided to suspend land revenue and irrigation charges collections till 31 March, 2015", he said.

"Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had given directions to suspend recovery of all revenue dues and loans of cooperative banks from farmers in drought and flood-affected areas", an official spokesman had said earlier this month

The instructions were also issued to provide additional irrigation water through canals and installation of handpumps and providing seeds to farmers in drought-hit areas.

Akhilesh has also instructed authorities to tackle drought and start relief work in drought-affected areas.

Officials have been told to ensure that besides farmers, other people of poor financial background don't face any problem in drought-hit districts.

The UP government has also appealed the Centre government to provide special relief package of Rs 6,000 crore to tackle the drought problem and waiving of farmers' loans, financial assistance for damaged crops and other issues in the state.

The 44 districts that have been declared drought-hit are: Agra, Amethi, Azamgarh, Aligarh, Amroha, Auraiyya, Bulandshahr, Bareilly, Banda, Badaun , Chitrakoot, Deoria, Etah, Etawah, Fatehpur, Faizabad, Firozabad, Farrukhabad, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budhha Nagar, Hapur, Hamirpur, Hardoi, Jhansi, Jalaun, Jaunpur, Kaushambi, Kanpur city, Kanpur Dehat, Kannauj, Kushinagar, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Mathura, Mainpuri, Mau, Mahoba, Maharajganj, Pilibhit, Rampur, Shamli, Saharanpur, Sonbhadra and Unnao.

The below average rainfall during the monsoon season has severely affected the state's agriculture, leading to acute drought.

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