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Posted at: Apr 18, 2019, 6:54 AM; last updated: Apr 18, 2019, 6:55 AM (IST)

Wheat crop flattened, Capt orders girdawari

Rain hits farmers in Patiala, Sangrur, Abohar, Muktsar | Power supply disrupted in many areas
Wheat crop flattened, Capt orders girdawari
A farmer checks his wheat crop flattened by strong winds and rain on the outskirts of Jalandhar on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, April 17

Following reports of damage to wheat crop in various parts of the state due to rain and dust storm, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today ordered a special girdawari for the assessment of crop loss.

An official press release said the CM ordered urgent steps to ascertain the extent of the damage to the crops so that due compensation could be awarded to the affected farmers at the earliest.

In his directive to the departments and officials concerned, the Chief Minister asked them to immediately commence the process of conducting the girdawari.

In Sangrur, heavy rain and hailstorm have damaged the harvested wheat and likely to affect the standing wheat too. Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori has ordered assessment of damage and sought reports from across the district.

“Heavy rain and hailstorm in some villages have caused damage to wheat and it will further increase the worries of already indebted farmers of the district,” said Darbara Singh Chajla, Sangrur district general secretary of the BKU Ugrahan.

Some farmers alleged that due to lack of covered space in grain markets, their harvested wheat got drenched, while others alleged that the authorities did not make any temporary arrangement to cover their wheat lying in the grain market despite their requests.

“The state government has failed to make required arrangements for farmers in grain markets and today’s rain has again exposed lack of facilities. Had the authorities arranged tarpaulins, hard earned wheat crop could have been saved,” said Govind Singh Chajli, state vice president of the Mukti Mazdoor Morcha.

Sangrur DC Thori said he had directed all Sub-Divisional Magistrates of the district to prepare detailed reports of losses. “I will get detailed reports from all SDMs by tomorrow evening. After analysing all reports, we will send that to the government for further action,” the DC added.

In Muktsar, the ripe wheat crop has already got flattened in a number of villages. “We were anticipating a bumper crop this year, but the rain at the time of harvesting has dashed our hopes. Now, the cost of harvesting will also escalate as the combine harvester owners will demand more money because the wheat has flattened in some patches,” said Ranjit Singh, a farmer from Gurusar village.

Meanwhile, power failure due to the rain and winds has also irked the residents. On the other hand, PSPCL officials claimed that a number of electricity wires had snapped as trees were uprooted by the winds.

In Abohar, farmers’ efforts to plug breaches that developed yesterday in six sub-canals emanating from Gang (Bikaner) Canal suffered a jolt as hailstorm and heavy rain lashed the border district for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited engineers could not make power supply normal even after 48 hours. Supply that went off at 8 pm on Tuesday and restored by 7.30 am on Wednesday was shut at 11 am again for four hours and again shut at 4.45 pm when hailstorm lashed the subdivision.

The PSPCL claimed to have utilised Rs 24.5 crore funds to upgrade its grid sub-stations, besides the 220 kV main station, but consumers had no relief.

The power supply could not be restored till the filing of this report. Drinking water supply also stood suspended.

Fresh spell of rain aggravated the situation in residential colonies in Abohar which stayed inundated for the past two days.

In Sriganganagar, six minors (sub-canals) that emanate from Gang Canal developed breaches ranging from 20 to 30 ft. Breaches in GG minor, LNP minor, PS minor, Ridmalsar minor, Karniji minor and Sameja minor submerged wheat and mustard crops spread over hundreds of acres.

In Patiala district, the downpour left the farmers a worried lot. Wheat stems, which are to be harvested in a few days, were flattened. The farmers claimed that they suffered huge losses.

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