Last week the farmers of Kalahandi suffered the ordeal of flash flood that wreaked havoc in the area. After Monday’s cloudburst, whether at mandis, at the thrashing ground, or the standing paddy, it has been a double blow for the farmers.
Cloudburst and torrential rain during last 24 hours in Thuamul Rampur and Kalampur blocks of Kalahandi caused devastating impact. According to official report, Thuamul Rampur block recorded a 600 mm rainfall while it was 400 mm in Kalampur block, 235 mm in Jaipatna, 132 mm in Kesinga and 105 mm in Bhawanipatna block of the district. The unprecedented rainfall of 600 mm in 24 hours in T Rampur block has caused confusion prompting the authorities for a reassessment.
T Rampur block is the high land of the district and located about 3000 feet above sea level. It is known as Cherrapunji of Odisha for high rainfall. Rivers like Indravati, Nagabali and Sagada have originated from this high land.
Although Monday’s downpour is feared to have inflicted widespread devastation in the area, the extent of damage would be known after the cutoff villages become accessible.
Heavy rain and flood in the Indravati irrigated area twice in the past one week have seriously affected summer paddy procurement and large-scale damages to paddy have been reported. According to the report from Supply Department, so far only 83,144 MT of paddy has been procured through the official mandis as against the assessment of Agriculture Department of production of 2.7 lakh MT of summer paddy in the district during current season.
The damage has been extensive to the standing paddy, at the thrashing ground and even at the mandis where harvest has been exposed to rain. The three days of rainfall from June 14 had already caused extensive damage to the paddy stock brought to mandis by the farmers. Ironically out of the 51 stipulated mandis of Primary Agriculture Societies, only eight have permanent sheds which too are inadequate in the event of such rainfall. In other mandis, paddy is exposed and farmers remain at the mercy of the rain gods.