Bhubaneswar: The Opposition Congress staged a walkout in the Assembly on Wednesday over drought issue and alleged the State Government for showing no interest towards the drought-hit farmers.

Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Said, “While the farmers are committing suicide due to crop loss in the drought-hit districts, the Government has been delaying to implement the relief code for the affected farmers.”

Due to lack of drought relief assistance and other measures, farmers are living in hunger. Laxman Jagat (28) under Sinapalli block of Nuapada District had already died, said Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan.

BJP Legislature Party leader KV Singhdeo said the farmer suicide case would increase if the Government did not respond soon on drought-hit status.

Replying to the debate, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro informed the House that the State Government has already received the eye estimation survey report based on crop loss due to irregular rainfall in 16 districts. As per the relief code, the Government can only declare certain areas as drought-hit after getting the crop-cutting reports.

Patro said all District Collectors were asked to submit the crop cutting report by January 15 next year. After getting the reports, steps will be taken. As per the eye estimation report submitted by district Collectors, as many as 16 districts have been identified as drought-hit with over 50 per cent crop loss.