BHAWANIPATNA: Heavy rain and thunderstorm lashed many parts of Kalahandi district on Monday, throwing normal life out of gear. While power supply was disrupted in several areas of the district including Bhawanipatna, trees were uprooted at many places. A large tree was felled on NH-26 near Kusumkhunti, blocking vehicular traffic for around four hours.
However, the worst-hit are farmers who had harvested their paddy crops and stocked them in procurement centres. A majority of the harvested crops had been kept in the open when rains lashed the areas. There is widespread damage to paddy kept in mandis at Jaipatna, Dharamgarh, Junagarh and Kalampur blocks.
In many places, harvested paddy kept in threshing yards and on roadside for threshing by farmers have also been damaged. Untimely rain will lead to issues like discoloured and broken grains that will not qualify for minimum support price as per fair average quality norms. Also, rains will result in high moisture content in the harvested crops. Standing paddy crops have also been damaged.
In the current rabi crop season, the Agriculture Department had decided to procure 22 lakh quintal paddy through 83 mandis from May 15. However, there was a delay in procurement due to untimely rains. So far, only 2.73 lakh quintal paddy has been sold.