Punjab: Many areas report crop damage; farmers demand timely reliefhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ludhiana/punjab-many-areas-report-crop-damage-farmers-demand-timely-relief-5683414/

Punjab: Many areas report crop damage; farmers demand timely relief

Sources in the agriculture department are expecting a 1-2% loss of yield in affected areas as well as a delay in the harvesting of wheat crop in the state.

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A handicapped farmer inspects his damaged crop in Kheda Jatta village Thursday. (Express Photo: Harmeet Sodhi)

Crop loss has been reported from areas like Fategarh Sahib, Patiala, Faridkot, Pathankot, Kapurthala, Barnala, Muktsar and Ropar over the past two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) owing to heavy rain and hailstorms. Maximum damage to standing crops which were near harvesting point was reported from Muktsar (10%).

Sources in the agriculture department are expecting a 1-2% loss of yield in affected areas as well as a delay in the harvesting of wheat crop in the state.

Data shows that Fatehgarh Sahib faced maximum rain (43.7 mm) while Patiala recorded 29.5 mm of rainfall. Ropar received 25 mm while Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar recorded 28 mm in two days. While Pathankot got 20 mm, Kapurthala recorded 17.6 mm rainfall. The average rainfall in Punjab, however, was just 5.3 mm on Tuesday and 10.1 mm on Wednesday.

Ferozepur recorded 16.5 mm rain along with light hailstorm in Mamdot area, which resulted in light lodging (crop falling over) of ripened wheat crop, which could delay harvesting season, said sources in the agriculture office. In Ludhiana, upto 1% of crop lodging was observed as per preliminary reports. In comparison, more damage was recorded in Muktsar where there was hailstorm in Malaut, Gidderbaha and Lambi blocks. The damage is being assessed by teams from the revenue and agriculture department.

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Though it rained only 13 mm in Barnala as per the weather department, light hailstorm in Sehna block can cause crop loss, said Barnala officials.

Farmer unions are claiming that the total loss is upto 20%. Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) state general secretary Sukhdev Singh asked the CM to ensure timely disbursement of compensation to farmers.

Muktsar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Aravind Kumar said, “Damage in our district is around 10%. Special girdawari (harvest inspection) is being done to access the exact loss. There was one death as well when a roof collapsed in a Gidderbaha village. Due compensation to the family will be given.”

Sangrur DC Ghysham Thori said, “Special girdawri is underway as per report from SDMs. Crop damage in Sangrur is nil.”

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had called a meeting of the disaster management committee to assess the extent of loss. On Thursday, he also asked the chief secretary to issue detailed guidelines to all DCs to enable completion of girdawari on priority basis. He also directed the chief secretary to monitor progress of the special girdawari and ensure it is completed on an urgent basis.