Hailstorm in Marathwada kills 2, destroys crops
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Hailstorm in Marathwada kills 2, destroys crops

The hailstorm accompanied by thundershowers lasted for 10 minutes in 207 villages, in seven tehsils of Jalna.

mumbai Updated: Feb 12, 2018 10:25 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,marathwada,hailstones
Mandodari Shelke, who lost her grape orchard due to the sudden downpour of the hailstones. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Two people lost their lives and farmers who were already facing tough times owing to the pink bollworm attack in cotton-growing districts of Jalna, Parbhani and Aurangabad districts of Marathwada got another blow on Sunday morning as an unexpected hailstorm hit the region.

Hailstones weighing as much as 34 grams resulted in deaths of Namdev Shinde, 62, and Asaram Jagtap, 65 from Jalna.

The hailstorm accompanied by thundershowers lasted for 10 minutes in 207 villages, in seven tehsils of Jalna. It also resulted in heavy losses of the standing crops of grapes, wheat, jawar and seeds of onion among others.

Though the meteorological department had issued the advisory about the unseasonal rainfall and the hailstorm earlier, the farmers said they could do nothing to save their standing crops.

Two farmers, Mandodari and Rama Shelke, lost their grape crops of about 200 quintal. They claimed to have sustained losses of about Rs8 lakh.

“Though only a few grapes are damaged, the entire bunch of grapes is damaged due to the fungus and infection it will develop in the following days. Against the production cost of Rs4.5 lakh, we were expecting Rs8 lakh from our sale. We could not even get our crop insured as the grape orchards in our village do not qualify for the cover due to less area under cultivation,” said Mandodari. According to officials from the divisional commissioner of Marathwada, the hailstorm was reported in Parbhani on Sunday evening and in parts of Aurangabad on Sunday morning. According to preliminary reports, losses in Jalna were highest. Agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar has directed his department to begin conducting the panchnamas of the losses.

“We have taken a review of the situation. The panchnama and the disbursement of the compensation may take few more days,” said Rajesh Joshi, resident district collector of Jalna. Villagers said the losses would have been more had it been a working day.

Bhaiyyasaheb Shinde from Vanjary Umrad village said Marathwada had been witnessing hailstorm regularly in last few years but the size of hail stones that poured on Sunday caused more damage.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 00:42 IST