General rains hit Punjab, Haryana; crop loss assessment ordered in Punjab

CHANDIGARH: General rains hit and Haryana on Friday, which caused fear among farmers about damage to the wheat crop almost a month before the season.

The rains are not good at this stage and will certainly affect wheat yield, said Secretary General of the Union Bhartiya Kisan (Ekta Ugrahan).

In view of the premature rains and the hail storm, the Punjab government ordered an evaluation of crop loss and all deputy commissioners were asked to submit their preliminary report on Monday.

Previously, the AAP, which is the main opposition party in Punjab, demanded that an assessment of crop loss be carried out, with the party legislator writing to the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh demanding 100 percent compensation for crop loss due to premature rains.

He said that rains and hailstorms have damaged standing crops in various parts of Punjab.

Expressing concern about the losses, the Prime Minister of Punjab ordered urgent measures to determine the extent of the damage to ensure that due compensation can be granted to affected farmers as soon as possible.

He directed that the income of the financial commissioner issue detailed instructions to all deputy commissioners to conduct a special assessment of crop loss, according to a statement.

Amarinder Singh also asked the revenue minister and other senior officers to tour the rain and hailstorm affected areas extensively and conduct on-ground assessment.

A senior official of the Punjab agriculture department had previously said that the current rainy season would not cause any damage to the standing wheat crop if it is not accompanied by high-speed winds that could flatten the crop and adversely affect yield.

Punjab, known as the country's food dish, expects more than 175 lakh tons of wheat production, whose harvest would begin in April.

According to the meteorological department, Karnal, Bhiwani, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala witnessed 5 mm, 4 mm, 7 mm, 0.5 mm, 5 mm and 3 mm of rain respectively.

Chandigarh, the common capital of Punjab and Haryana received 4.4 mm of rain. Hisar was the wettest place in Haryana with 37 mm of rain followed by Narnaul, which measured 30 mm of rain.

After the rains, the maximum temperatures fell several notches below normal and were set between 17 degrees Celsius and 21 degrees Celsius.