Till August end, Punjab was reeling under severe drought. It had even sought Rs 2,330 crore as a special package from the Centre to bail out farmers in crisis.
Ten days on, the state is preparing to demand compensation in the form of flood relief. Because in these 10 days, Punjab’s rainfall deficit has come down to 47 per cent from 64 per cent (till August end).
The heavy rain this month has submerged nearly 1.1 lakh acres of land under cotton cultivation and nearly 1 lakh acres under paddy cultivation. In Muktsar district, which received above normal rainfall (303.2 mm against normal 288.8 mm) till date, cotton crop over 62,000 acres has been damaged. Over 40,000 acres of paddy crop was damaged in Amritsar district.
Agriculture Minister Tota Singh said that ‘girdawari’ (assessment of crop damage due to heavy rain) is being conducted in various districts including Muktsar, Mansa, Fazilka, Abohar, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Bathinda and Gurdaspur, which are worst hit by rain. The Girdawari will ascertain the exact loss and a report will be prepared. “We will certainly demand for compensation for damaged crops due to heavy rains,” he added.