SAMBALPUR: A farmer, Rahasa Bihari Karna of Naikenpali village in Attabira block, has threatened self-immolation if the government did not compensate the huge losses that he had suffered following the death of paddy saplings. “Paddy saplings over 20 acres of my land have died. More than 50 per cent transplantation was over in our village and all the saplings have rotten and died,” said Karna. Karna is among the hundreds of farmers affected due to the death of paddy saplings.
Ananda Bhoi of Silati village in Sonepur district has lost transplanted saplings on his 12 acres of land. Reports of damage of paddy saplings pour in from more pockets in Sambalpur, Bargarh and Sonepur districts under the Hirakud Command Area.
The complaints too are similar, that the saplings are changing colour from green-yellow-red and dying even after spraying of insecticide.
This is for the first time that such complaints have been made and even plant scientists in government departments are clueless about the reason even as test trials are being conducted to find a solution.
On the other hand, the claim of former Sambalpur MP Bhabani Hota is gaining ground with the yield declining in areas which were flooded during the last kharif season instead of increasing as the flood leaves behind fertile sediment.
Moreover, the submerged crop had then emitted foul smell and Convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO), Ranjan Panda said there was a need to check the toxicity of the water of Hirakud dam reservoir.
Meanwhile, farmers of Bargarh Command Area called on District Magistrate Bhabagrahi Mishra at his grievance cell on Saturday demanding insurance and distribution of short duration variety of seeds to help them cultivate again.