Bhubaneswar: Amid grim prediction that Odisha may receive less rainfall this monsoon, the state government on Monday asked district collectors to come out with contingency plans to tackle any possible drought-like situation.

Agriculture Minister Pradeep Kumar Maharathy directed the collectors to be prepared with sufficient seeds for kharif crops and timely use of seeds and fertilisers.

He said the collectors have been asked to inform in advance about the requirement of farmers in their areas, including seeds, fertilisers and pesticide.

The government also cancelled the three-day ‘Raja’ festival for all employees of the agriculture department.

The festival, associated with farmers and celebrated during the onset of monsoon, was to be held on June 14-16.

“All agriculture officials have been instructed to remain alert to tackle the possible drought situation. The department has been asked to open 24-hour control rooms in district agriculture offices in the state,” the minister said.

Source: IANS