Crops over 4,000 hectares damaged in Punjab: Agriculture dept
Crops on nearly 4,000 hectares of a total of 24,100 hectares of agricultural land submerged in 546 villages of Punjab in the wake of major breaches in river embankments have been damaged, the state agricultural department said.
With crops damaged on 1,715 hectares out of the 3,905 hectare area in 95 villages, Rupnagar, the first district downstream of the Bhakra dam the floodgates of which were opened due to heavy inflow of water in the reservoir due to heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the Sutlej in Himachal Pradesh, is the worst-hit, said state agriculture director Sutantar Kumar Airi.
Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for farmers at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Airi said crops on 220 hectares have been damaged in Ludhiana, adding more than 4,600 hectares in 72 villages are still under in the district.
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“An assessment of the damage is on as fresh cases of flood are being reported in Jalandhar and other districts. Nearly 60% of the submerged crops can still be saved. We are sending our teams to flood-hit villages to guide farmers to drain out the excess water from fields,” he said.
“In Amritsar district, 81-hectare crop in five villages is still under water,” he added.
About the crops flooded by toxic water from the Buddha Nullah in Ludhiana, Airi said, “There is no need to panic. The farmers should drain out the water as quickly as possible and should not let it stagnate in the fields.”
Addressing the audience during workshop, PAU vice-chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon also expressed concern over flooding of crops in the state.
“Farmers in Punjab are going through a bad phase. They have not only suffered crop losses, but also lost belongings in their houses,” said Dhillon.