Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday directed departments to prepare contingency plans for drought like situation in the state this year due to extended dry spell.Revenue and Disaster Management Principal Secretary Onkar Chand Sharma on Thursday held a meeting with officials of various departments to take stock of the preparedness for drought like situation this year. The Deputy Commissioners of all districts participated through video conference.

Sharma said rainfall data of all districts have been analyzed and there is deficiency of 49 per cent in the state (post monsoon).

“As per the information provided by meteorological department, there is chance of scattered or light to moderate rainfall during 23-24 January throughout the state,” he said, adding there is no impact on the Rabi crops as there was sufficient rainfall in the districts during December 2017.

He directed to prepare and review the drought contingency plan of the district with the support of concerned stakeholders.

He said there has been no impact on the drinking water sector. “All the field functionaries have been directed to prepare the contingency plan to combat the drought like situations. IPH department is having 45 drinking water supply testing labs in the state, where regular sampling testing is being done.

The department has successfully completed the cleaning of all water storage tanks in the state,” he said.He directed all the Deputy Commissioners to ensure water quality testing randomly up to the sub division level.