Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, ahead of Pongal, has announced a gift pack that includes a kg of raw rice and sugar each and said it would be distributed before the fest through ration shops across the state.
In a statement, Panneerselvam said the gift hamper would be extended “in the midst of prevailing drought condition in the state” to all rice cardholders, police cardholders and Sri Lankan refugees staying in state-run camps.
“The Northeast monsoon usually brings 440 mm of rainfall to Tamil Nadu,” he said. “However, only 163.8 mm of rain was received. Of the 32 districts in Tamil Nadu, 21 had a deficiency of 60%.”
The statement said drought relief measures can be announced only if 10% of all village crops are surveyed by committees formed by district collectors and senior civil authorities.
Panneerselvam said the government would form different groups comprising of ministers and officials who would tour the districts and submit their reports.
Panneerselvam said based on the extent of the damage outlined in the reports, compensation would be given to the farmers.