With a drought-like condition looming large over Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar yesterday held a meeting with officials from different departments to take stock of the situation.
The state has witnessed an unusually long dry spell this year, a departure from the normal arrival of monsoon in the second week of June.
According to an official release, Mr Kumar was apprised about the preparedness for tackling a drought by officials from the departments of agriculture, water resources, health, public health engineering, and disaster management and power.
However, a weather department official told the CM that the state was likely to receive rainfall after July 22, it said.
Mr Kumar instructed agriculture department officials that diesel grants be disbursed among farmers at the earliest, and in the event of a monsoon failure, cultivators of paddy be supplied with seeds for alternative crops.
He directed the public health engineering department to ensure that handpumps worked properly and that there was no shortage of drinking water.
The Chief Minister asked the power department to maintain regular and adequate electricity supply to the farmers, the release said.
Mr Kumar also directed the disaster management department to be ready for disbursement of funds at the earliest, if no rainfall takes place during the stipulated time.