VELLORE/TIRUVANNAMALAI: Farmers are keeping their fingers crossed after Cyclone Nivar inflicted heavy damage on their crops in several parts of Vellore region and Tiruvannamalai. Rice producers are the worst affected by the disaster.
In Vellore, paddy crops were damaged in 277 hectares while plantain was lost in 161 hectares.
Green leaves, which are predominantly cultivated in Katpadi and KV Kuppam blocks, were submerged in about 130 hectares depriving small farmers of their livelihood.
According to district collector A Shanmuga Sundaram, “Crop loss was reported in 700.53 hectares including paddy-277.8 hectares, banana-161.35 hectares, groundnut-48 hectares and greens in 130 hectares.”
Katpadi block suffered the worst damage owing to the squally winds, heavy downpour and breaching of bunds of a lake.
“I have raised paddy and sugarcane in 3 acres. The entire crops were submerged in rainwater. I don’t know how I am going to revive them,” said Arjunan, a farmer in Ambaruthi in Katpadi.
In Tiruvannamalai district, paddy was affected in about 2,210 hectares in Kalasapakkam, Kilpennathur, Cheyyar, Polur, Thurinjapuram and West Arni blocks. The damage is so heavy that the food crop, which is in the mature stage, cannot be restored in more than 2000 hectares, official sources said.
Groundnut, which is cultivated predominantly in the district, suffered damage in more than 700 hectares in Tiruvannamalai, Cheyyar, Kalasapakkam and Peranamallur blocks while black gram was lost in 319 hectares and maize in about 20 hectares, they noted.
Saying that the enumeration of crop losses inflicted by the cyclone was still being made, officials of Ranipet district stated that paddy was lost in nearly 500 acres, groundnut in 75 acres and pulses in 50 acres.
Anguished by the loss, cyclone-hit farmers are anxiously waiting to know the quantum of compensation they may get from the government as a central team of officials arrives in Vellore and Ranipet districts on Tuesday to assess the extent of damage.
The district authorities are racing against time to complete the enumeration process and compile the data to be presented to the visiting central team.