Even as the country is busy fighting the spread of coronavirus, farmers in Uttar Pradesh are facing another crisis: damage to their crops caused by hailstorm. As per estimates, crops worth nearly Rs 255 crore has been damaged by hailstorms and heavy rainfall across 35 districts so far this year. In the previous two years, there was no major damage to crops due to hailstorm, with the last major damage reported in 2018, when just seven districts were affected.
While loss of human life reported during hailstorm this year is 52, sources said crops that have been majorly hit include wheat, masoor, jowar, mustard, peas, etc. While nearly 6.5 lakh farmers are likely to be affected, the estimated area of crop damage is roughly around 2.37 lakh hectare.
The most recent damage had taken place on March 12 and 13, when as many as 14 districts of the state were affected. These include Fatehpur, Azamgarh, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Bahraich, Gonda, Barabanki, Sultanpur, Amethi, Jhansi, Etawah, Lakhimpurkhiri, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra. In just 24 hours, while around one lakh hectare of nearly three lakh farmers was affected due to hailstorm and heavy rainfall, nearly 24,000 hectares had seen over 33 per cent of crop damage. Based on the estimated reports by the districts, so far nearly Rs 66 crore has been sanctioned to districts for relief so far. Around Rs 18.52 crore was allotted to eight districts on March 13, whereas Rs 27.21 crore were allocated between March 1 and March 12.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered that compensation of Rs 4 lakh each be handed over to the families of farmers who died in incidents related to hailstorm and rain.
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