Damage surfaces as flood water recedes in North Balasore
By Express News Service | Published: 03rd September 2013 12:19 PM |
Flash flood triggered by heavy rainfall last week has submerged thousands of hectares of agricultural land in northern parts of Balasore district, ruining paddy and vegetable crops in the region.
Even as the flood water has receded from human habitations, paddy crops and vegetable fields are still inundated in Bhogarai, Jaleswar, Basta, Baliapal, Remuna and Sadar blocks which were hit by the flood in Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga and Jalaka rivers.
Though the damage assessment has not been completed yet, initial estimate states that over 20,000 acres of agricultural field have been damaged during the recent flood. Farmers are worried as frequent rain has added to their woes.
In many areas, flood water could not be discharged for four to five days due to high tide in the sea. Along with floodwater of Subarnarekha, the rainwater from West Bengal submerged standing crops in Bhogarai for almost a week.
Bimal Jena, a farmer, said they had paddy seeds sown in the fields after the first rain have been completely destroyed by flood water. “The plants of high yield varieties have gone rotten after remaining inundated for days together,” he said.
Apart from paddy, vegetable crops including lady finger, bitter gourd, brinjal and a couple of other varieties have also been badly hit.
Thousands of farmers in the flood hit areas, who were badly affected last year due to unseasonal rain, are in trouble as many of them do not have funds to buy seeds again.
“After a delayed monsoon, we had transplanted paddy saplings in our land. But the plants have completely been destroyed in the flood water,” said Dwitikrushan Swain, a farmer from Baliapal, which was worst hit in the recent flood.
Nearly 2,500 acres of farmland on both sides of river Jalaka are submerged since August 21 as the areas have witnessed two consecutive floods in less than a fortnight.
Agriculture Department authorities are aware of the grim situation and have entrusted the officials to conduct a survey and prepare report at the earliest.
“We will evaluate the loss after the water recedes from the fields and send the report to the Government seeking compensation for the farmers,” said Deputy Director Laxman Murmu.
Meanwhile, Revenue Minister has asked the district administration to submit a report after assessing the damages during the floods. The farmers fearing a complete crop loss have demanded financial assistance and waiver of crop loans.
In the recent floods, nearly 3.5 lakh people in 450 villages of 80 panchayats under six blocks in the district were affected.