Rain, hailstorm damage maize, melon crops in Punjab
Rain and high-velocity winds besides hailstorm in some pockets of Punjab on Wednesday damaged maize, cucumber, watermelon and muskmelon crops.
Also, nearly 9 lakh quintal wheat was swamped in the Bhagtanwala grain market in Amritsar.
In Jalandhar district, while cucumber, watermelon and muskmelon crops suffered nearly 70% damage due to hailing, maize crop was flattened by rain and high-speed winds, horticulture experts said. Among the worst-hit are Rupewal, Baarha Jagir, Raowali, Malsian villages and the Lohian, Nurmahal and Shahkot areas.
Santokh Singh, a farmer from Malsian who have cultivated watermelon, muskmelon and maize on over 100 acres, said he suffered total crop loss due to hailstorm and rain.
“We will suffer losses of lakhs of rupees as the hailstorm left holes in the cucurbit crops and the loss is irrecoverable,” he said.
Deputy director horticulture (Jalandhar) Satbir Singh said the rain and hailstorm is likely to have caused over 70% damage in some of the affected areas.
Also, some damage was reported to the harvested wheat in grain markets of the district.
“A negligible damage was reported to the wheat kept in the Phagwara grain market as it has been covered with tents.
District mandi officer Varinder Kumar said since light showers lashed Jalandhar no damage was reported to the wheat in the grain markets.
“The government has purchased only 2.5 lakh quintal of wheat of the total arrival of 11.5 lakh quintals at the Bhaktanwala market. Around 9 lakh quintal wheat is yet to be lifted due to a lackadaisical approach of the mandi officials,” said a commission agent.
District mandi officer (Amritsar) Kulwant Singh claimed that lifting of wheat is on the full swing and not a single grain was damaged.