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Rain, hailstorm flatten wheat crop in parts of Punjab

Untimely widespread rains accompanied by hailstorm and strong winds have flattened wheat crop over one lakh hectares in Punjab with Fazilka district being the worst hit, officials said on Friday. Rains had lashed several parts of Punjab on March 11 and 12.

PTI Reported by: PTI
Chandigarh Published on: March 13, 2020 19:24 IST
Rain, hailstorm flatten wheat crop in parts of Punjab
Image Source : FILE

Rain, hailstorm flatten wheat crop in parts of Punjab

Untimely widespread rains accompanied by hailstorm and strong winds have flattened wheat crop over one lakh hectares in Punjab with Fazilka district being the worst hit, officials said on Friday. Rains had lashed several parts of Punjab on March 11 and 12.

Lodging has taken place on 1,06,950 hectares at different places in the state because of rain, hailstorm and strong winds, an agriculture department official said here, adding that this could cause the average crop yield to drop by 6 to 7 per cent. Lodging refers to crops falling flat on the ground. This causes yield loss.

Among the affected areas, maximum lodging was reported in Fazilka at 45,500 hectares, followed by Patiala with 25,000 hectares, Rupnagar with 18,000 hectares, Fatehgarh Sahib with 8,100 hectares and Hoshiarpur with 8,000 hectares.

Heavy showers last week had flattened crops on 2.02 lakh hectares in the state. Known as the food bowl of the country, Punjab is expecting more than 175 lakh tonne of wheat output. The harvesting of wheat would start in April.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar appealed to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to order a special 'girdwari' (survey) for the assessment of loss of wheat and kinnow crops. In a statement here, the Congress leader said rain and hailstorm have damaged crops, especially in Fazilka and some other districts.

He said several kinnow orchards suffered damage because of the hailstorm in Fazilka.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also asked the chief minister to order an immediate 'girdwari' to assess the damage caused to rabi crops.

Badal, in a statement, said rain and hailstorm had caused widespread damage to wheat and vegetable crops in several districts of the state. He also demanded adequate compensation for affected farmers as early as possible.

"It is the moral responsibility of the state to bailout farmers in times of natural catastrophe and also minimise their losses. The Congress government should not be found wanting in this regard," the Akali leader said. 

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