Patna Jun 13 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today directed the authorities concerned to gear up for facing the challenges of natural calamities like drought and floods in days ahead and make the preparations accordingly.Mr Kumar, addressing a high level meeting organised here to review preparedness to face the challenge of possibilities of floods and drought, said that all the authorities concerned should make adequate preparations for the purpose. Farmers were worst sufferers in natural calamities like floods and drought who needed immediate assistance from the government, he added." In the event of drought, diesel subsidy should be given to farmers on time while there should also be preparedness to make payment to them against damage of crops due to drought or floods", chief minister said, adding that survey should be carried out to assess the damage caused to crops. If any crop was needed to be included in the scheme launched for giving compensation against crop damage, it should be done without any further loss of time, he added.Mr Kumar said that storage of medicines and other essentials should be made in adquate quantity which could be rushed to victims in the event of any exigency. Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) should also make its preparation to ensure functioning of all hand pumps to minimise the possibility of drinking water scarcity, he added.

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