CM N Biren Singh and his cabinet colleagues distributing water pump sets to farmers in Imphal on Friday

Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Friday said that his government was consulting experts of the Central government to address water issues as people of the state, especially farmers, are reeling under severe water scarcity for agricultural activities.

“If there is no rainfall by the end of the current month [July], steps will be taken to declare drought in Manipur,” he said.

The chief minister was addressing an event at North AOC in Imphal where around 40 water pump sets were distributed by the Manipur Minorities & Other Backward Classes Economic Development Society (MOBEDS) to the farmers.

The move was aimed to ease the burdens of the farmers in the present drought-like situation in the state. Many farmers with no water in their paddy fields are trying their luck by sowing rice seeds in their dry lands.

Speaking at the event, CM Singh said that the measure was aimed at combating the drought-like situation in the state. Around 157 river lift irrigation (RLI) schemes have started functioning to provide water in the paddy fields of the state, he added.

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During the event, the chief minister also informed the gathering that the agriculture department and MOBEDS would be providing around 126 irrigation pump sets to the needy farmers. In addition to that, another 100 pump sets would be procured in next four to five days to deal with the situation, he added.

The elected representatives from different parts of the state were asked to approach the agriculture minister and other concerned ministers for agriculture-related support, including water pump sets.

Agriculture minister V Hangkhanlian, forest and environment minister Th Shyamkumar Singh, education minister Th Radheshyam, deputy speaker Kongkham Robindro, MLAs and officials of MOBEDS department were also present during the function.

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