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Posted at: Jun 15, 2019, 6:56 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2019, 8:29 AM (IST)

Hailstorm hits cotton crop in region, Harsimrat seeks relief for farmers

Hailstorm hits cotton crop in region, Harsimrat seeks relief for farmers
The cotton crop damaged by a hailstorm at Kot Dharmu village in Mansa district. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 14

A hailstorm, along with high-velocity winds, on Wednesday damaged the cotton crop in some parts of Bathinda and Mansa districts.

Ram Singh Bhainibagha, Mansa unit president of BKU Ekta (Ugrahan), said they had received reports that the cotton crop had been damaged in a number of villages, including Kot Dharmo, Pairon, Raipur and Behniwal due to the hailstorm.

Farmer leader Malkit Singh Kot Dharmu said the hailstorm that lasted for more than half an hour had wreaked havoc on the cotton crop and chances of its revival were bleak. He said there were reports that the cotton crop had suffered damage in Talwandi Sabo, Rama and Sangat areas of Bathinda district as well.

However, Ashok Kapur, former president of the North India Cotton Association, said there wasn’t much impact on the cotton crop as a sudden change in the weather was witnessed in only some parts of the region and that too did not last long.

Meanwhile, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Friday asked the Congress government “not to run away” from awarding compensation to the affected farmers in Bathinda (Rural) Assembly segment. She demanded immediate girdawari and due compensation.

In a statement, Harsimrat said it was unfortunate that the district administration was coming out with statements that the cotton crop damaged during the past three days would revive. She said such statements were being made despite the fact that at places the crop had suffered 100 per cent damage.

Giving details, the minister said damage had been manifold. “Cotton fields have been inundated with water after trees fell into two canals, resulting in water overflow. Besides, electricity poles and transformers have been uprooted, resulting in power cuts in many villages. Solar panels have been uprooted at several places even as hailstorm has affected the standing cotton crop,” she added.

Harsimrat said 200 acres of cotton crop had been destroyed completely due to the overflowing of water after trees fell into the canal in Chak AttarSinghwala village. She said more than 700 acres suffered 90 per cent damage in Kaljharani, Bandi and Mohala villages.

The Bathinda MP said despite this widespread damage, the district administration had not swung into action and undertaken a girdawari. “In fact, an attempt is being made to run away from awarding compensation to the calamity-stricken farmers. No attempt has been made to restore power supply. This will delay paddy transplantation in this area as well,” she said.

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