Ranchi: With most parts of Jharkhand recording deficit rainfall, the state government has instructed departments to be prepared for a drought, if the current trend continues.

In an emergency meeting convened on Monday (July 22), chief secretary DK Tiwari asked some of the higher officials to meet farmers and prepare a strategy to provide them with relief materials as per their requirements, within a week, an official release said.

According to the MeT office data, the state has recorded a rainfall deficit of 45% in the year 2019.

The rainfall received in the state from June 1 to July 22 was 238.6 mm, as against the average rainfall of 431.2 mm.

Chatra, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Godda, Pakur, Ranchi, Seraikela-Kharsawan and Khunti districts are among the most affected by the rain deficit, the release said.

However, scanty rain has affected almost the entire state, it said.

The chief secretary has asked all the district deputy commissioners to ensure availability of seeds and fertilisers to the farmers asking them to cultivate less water-intensive crops.

Tiwari also directed the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) commissioner to ensure employment for residents of villages, where cultivation has been affected due to less rain.

He instructed the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to provide the deputy commissioners with Rs 350 crore, within a week, for distribution of relief.

He also asked the officials to complete preparations for providing drinking water if the need arises.