400 Acres Of Crop Gutted
Burning remnants of sugarcane crop, despite prohibitory orders enforced by the administration, cost dear to around 100 farmers of village Dariewal, where around 400 acres of wheat crop was burnt.
However, Kapurthala SDM Gurpreet Singh Khaira, who visited the spot said that destruction in around 250 acres has already been confirmed at the outset, while the rest was yet being checked by revenue officials.
Police have booked and arrested Ujaggar Singh and Sukhwinder Singh, who set the remnants of the sugarcane crops on fire in their fields. They have been booked under Sections 188 and 435 of the IPC. It is learnt that they were in inebriated condition when they started burning the remnants.
As many of the affected farmers have lost their entire crop of the season, pall of gloom descends on the affected village. Wife of one of the farmers, Amrik Singh fell unconscious after she learnt that their entire crop had been gutted.
According to farmers, as the crop had ripened, the flames engulfed large tracts within minutes. "As fire tenders were finding it difficult to control the flames that had spread in a large area, farmers of around 10 surrounding villages brought around 40-50 tractors and ploughed the crop in around 2 km area to stop further spread of the flames," said a farmer Gurnam Singh.
Karnail Singh, sarpanch of village Dariewal, who lost his crops standing in 20 acres, revealed that the crop in fields of Balwinder Singh was the first victim of the flames, ignited by the ignorance of the accused farmers, from where it pread to the entire surrounding area. Loss pegged by him and former sarpanch Kulwant Singh is around 400 acres.
Going by the produce of around 20 quintals from one acre, as is being expected by the farmers, the total loss in that case would be around Rs 80 lakh. The farmers lamented that many of them were to return loans taken from the banks and arhatiyas, but now they did not even have wheat for their household consumption.
They demanded compensation from the government to bail them out of the situation. SDM Gurpreet Singh Khaira, said that loss in around 250 acres had been confirmed while officials of revenue department were still on the job to access the complete loss.
He said that there was a provision for compensation if the fire was caused by power cables or natural calamities, but in this case they would send special representation to the state government to consider the case of the farmers for compensation, as a special case.