Squall flattens paddy on 500 acres
Gurdaspur October 7:
Heavy rain, followed by squall, which hit this border district, caused huge damage to standing crop of paddy and fodder apart from uprooting number of trees.
A tour to rural areas of this district revealed that the paddy crop, which had nearly ripened, had been flattened by the squall in almost all parts of the district. The affected farmers said as the paddy crop had been ripened fully, they were not able to cut the grain bunches from the flattened crop. They said they had suffered 100 per cent loss of the crop due to the squall.
On the other hand, the affected farmers started cutting the fodder crop immediately it was flattened. Baldev Singh Kahlon, chief agriculture officer, said though it was difficult to assess the quantum of loss immediately, it could be estimated as per preliminary reports that standing paddy crops had been damaged fully on about 500 acres.
He said he had asked the official concerned to carry out a survey in the affected areas in the two days so that a comprehensive report could be prepared. A section of farmers of this district were doubly cursed as earlier they had suffered huge losses due to floods in the Ravi and Beas.
Out of total 1.97 lakh hectare area of this district under paddy, the floodwater had caused 100 per cent damage to the crop on about 5,000 acres. The loss due to today’s squall could also run into crop on hundreds of acres.
Kahlon pointed out that the paddy, which had been flattened, mostly belonged to the Punjab number one, Dewegowda and PUSA varieties. He added basmati had suffered less loss compared to other varieties.