Monsoon covers Punjab’s Malwa belt, brings relief for farmers
The first monsoon showers that hit the semi-arid region of south Malwa on Thursday night brought respite for cotton farmers from the deadly whitefly but exposed the ill-preparedness of the civic authorities in the urban areas as several areas in Bathinda town were in knee-deep in water
The first monsoon showers that hit the semi-arid region of south Malwa on Thursday night brought respite for cotton farmers from the deadly whitefly but exposed the ill-preparedness of the civic authorities in the urban areas as several areas in Bathinda town were in knee-deep in water.
Low-lying areas, such as Power House Road and Sikri Bazaar, were waterlogged.
Since the city has no dedicated stormwater drainage network, sewage lines are used for flowing rainwater. Even as the rain lasted for about six hours, many low-lying areas on arterial roads got waterlogged.
Agriculture experts said the timely rains are beneficial for cotton and paddy crops, while kinnow orchardists who were facing an acute irrigation crisis this year, would also benefit.
State agriculture officials said due to the lack of rains, the cotton-growing belt was reeling under the threat of the whitefly attack after seven years.
Surveillance teams have been constituted in various districts for a constant watch on the whitely.
Muktsar chief agriculture officer Gurpreet Singh said teams inspected 94 sites on Thursday and 10 spots were found to have whitefly above the economic threshold level (ETL) of six or more adults per leaf early in the morning. However, pest infestation is under control and farmers have been advised to use pesticides.
“After two breaches in Sirhind Feeder this year, fields were deprived of irrigation support. Water scarcity caused stunted growth of cotton plants but the timely rains have revived hopes for the cotton crop,” he said.
Mansa CAO Manjit Singh said the prolonged dry weather was to blame for the threat of whitefly infestation.
“The pest attack is directly related to dryness, and rain weakens it. Rain will disturb the whiteflies that have settled on the cotton crops and as a result, flies will start falling down on the soil which will offer relief to the crop,” he said.
Arvind Setia, a progressive farmer from Abohar in Fazilka, said rainfall has revived hopes of kinnow orchardists as trees were drying up in the absence of a canal irrigation system.
“Groundwater in Abohar region is unfit for irrigation and canal water in the sole lifeline. But as the Sirhind Feeder canal breached twice this year, kinnow production was hit. The showers will help the surviving trees from the prolonged dry spell,” said Setia.
The Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, in collaboration with Tricity Photo Art Society, celebrated World Photography Day (August 19), by organising the seventh edition of a photo exhibition of its members, Drishti-2022. Drishti was inaugurated by eminent artist and photographer Diwan Manna on Friday. CLKA chairman Bheem Malhotra said the event is on till August 23 at the CLKA office gallery of Rani Laxmi Bai Bhawan, Sector 38C, Chandigarh.
This International Homeless Animals' Day (August 20), we talked to some local animal shelters' teams about their work and the challenges. Gaurav, of Waheguru Animal Welfare and Group of Environmentalist, says they used to send rescued animals to a shelter in Mullanpur, but once that got closed, they decided to open a shelter in 2018. Founder-director of Protection and Care for Animals, Reshamjit Kaur Dhaliwal, is running an animal shelter in Kharar since 2013.
Based on a specific tip-off, the Air Intelligence Unit officials of the Customs on Thursday evening intercepted the woman Bintu Janneh, near the arrival hall of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. She had concealed the contraband in her handbag and was supposed to deliver it to a person in Mumbai. Examination of her handbag led to recovery of 500 grams of cocaine, said Customs officials. Customs officers are trying to identify her associates.
There will be no water supply across the city on Thursday (August 25) as the Pune Municipal Corporation will carry out electrical and civil related works at various locations. Aniruddha Pawaskar, head, PMC water department, said, “PMC has planned meter installation, maintenance and water supply line connection works at many areas, including Parvati and Cantonment water treatment plants.” Areas getting water supply from Bhama Askhed dam will not be affected on Thursday.
After an egg was thrown at former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah's convoy - while he was visiting Kodagu district - the Congress's youth wing has said it plans to organise a statewide protest against 'insulting acts' by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The party's youth wing president Mohammad Harris Nalapad said the plan was to send eggs to all ministers to register their disapproval.