Officials said the drought in 58 of the 75 districts was due to scanty rainfall. The below average rainfall during the monsoon months has rendered a blow to agriculture and the paddy crop has been devastated in 53 districts, officials said, adding the drought was more severe in five districts.

The rainfall has been only 40 percent of the average, a senior official said. Thirty four districts have received 40-60 percent rainfall, while only five districts have received adequate rainfall.

The new districts added to the drought list are Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mirzapur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, Baghpat, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Moradabad, Gonda, Hathras, Shahjahanpur and Chandauli.

Officials said the districts facing acute drought conditions include Rampur, Meerut, Budaun, Saharanpur, Etah, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Hapur, Mainpuri, besides others.

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