Odisha farmers in deep water as rains damage crop fields

Large tracts of paddy fields have been damaged due to recent torrential rains in Kendrapara district and its nearby areas.

Published: 10th September 2018 02:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2018 06:21 AM   |  A+A-

Agitating farmers block road at Kansar gram panchayat on Sunday | Express

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: Large tracts of paddy fields have been damaged due to recent torrential rains in Kendrapara district and its nearby areas. Paddy saplings have been damaged in Rajnagar, Aul, Rajkanika, Derabishi and Pattamundai blocks of Kendrapara district, said Gayadhar Dhal, secretary of the district unit of Krusaka Sabha. Scores of farmers of Kansar and Ostapur gram panchayats in the district, demanding compensation for crop loss, blocked the main road at Kansar on Sunday.

Ostapur gram panchayat sarpanch Pradyumna Jena said paddy saplings planted on around 2,000 acres of land in both the gram panchayats have been damaged due to ingress of water from Govari river. He said six months back, three sluice gates on the river were replaced with hose pipes resulting in flow of excess water into the agriculture fields. “It is high time the officials built sluice gates by removing the hose pipes”, Jena said.

A similar situation prevails in Aul block where farmers are concerned about repaying loans. “All paddy saplings are destroyed. How will we repay the bank loans”, wondered Mahendra Sutar, a farmer of Natara village under Aul block.

Ajit Behera, a farmer of Rajkanika, said even as farmers in the district face crop loss due to flood, incessant rainfall or drought, the authorities concerned only pay lip service. The faulty agricultural policy of the Government is responsible for the farmers’ woes in the district, he added.

Behera said farmers seldom insure their crops as a result of which they suffer during natural calamities. “The Government is yet to formulate a concrete policy to insure agricultural lands and a large number of farmers are deprived of compensation for crop loss”, he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Agriculture department, Kendrapara, M Das said all block agriculture officers have been directed to submit a detailed report on crop loss. “The farmers will be provided assistance after the report is received”, he added.

27  panchayats waterlogged in Bhadrak

Bhadrak: Even as Baitarani river is flowing below the danger mark, several panchayats in Bhadrak district remain waterlogged owing to 60-foot breach at Kapali embankment near Baruna village under Dhamnagar block. Sources said in the absence of rains, flood water has started receding. However, 27 panchayats in three blocks of the district are still waterlogged.

District Collector Gyanranjan Das visited the flood affected areas along with other officials to take stock of the situation. District Emergency Officer Jaysree Senapaty said the district administration has provided flattened rice and other essential commodities to the affected villages. Beside, rice has been supplied to seven marooned villages in Chandbali block, he added.

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