Crops losses in floods pegged at Rs 365-cr

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 9/19/2014 11:30:37 PM

JAMMU, Sep 19: As the flood waters recede, a grim picture emerges from the agriculture sector in Jammu where the deluge has washed away crops worth Rs 365 crore and 13,000 hectares of cultivable land.
While the Maize crop suffered Rs 248 crore damage, rice, paddy crops suffered a loss of Rs 48 crore followed by Rs 40 crore loss to vegetable crops besides damage to pulses and saffron.
"Loss of 365 crore has been caused to crops in Jammu region in the flash floods", Director, Agriculture, Jammu, S S Jamwal told.
He said an elaborate report has been submitted to the government on the basis of the preliminary assessment done across the region.
Jamwal, who himself led teams of the Department of Agriculture to assess the losses caused to crops and farm lands, said 13,000 hectares of agriculture land has been washed away in the floods.
Tawi, Basantar and Devak rivers have changed courses at places resulting in major damage to huge chunks of agriculture land in Niki Tawi and Ramgarh belts of Jammu and Samba districts.
"It is the biggest challenge for the government to ensure protections to farm lands and later reclaiming these lands for use in agriculture activities", Jamwal said.
Taking stock of the situation, the Department of Agriculture has pressed into service its monitoring teams to make an on-the-spot assessment of damages caused to vegetables, paddy, maize, pulses and fodder crops by the flash floods and heavy rains in different districts of Jammu division since September 14.
Jamwal has also held detailed interaction with farmers of Kukrian, Kothey Manhasan, Haripur, Chak Jaggar, Thub, Mahaveer Basti, Kothey Puran, Ghou Manhasan, Sandawan, Bhagatpur, Suhagani, Chakrali, Nai basti, Marh, Kana Chak, Kayanpur, Panjore and adjoining areas of Marh sub-division. MORE
Hit by the floods, farmer Parkash Singh of Kukerian area said, "There has been tremendous loss to the farmers of the area who need immediate relief and help. We have lost everything. Our life depends on farming."
Similarly, Janak Singh said, "We cannot do farming for the next one year as some land has been washed away and some rendered barren by the floods. We will take more than one year to reclaim the farm land."
In Suhagani panchyat and adjoining areas, about 500 acres of cultivated area has been affected due to breach of protection bunds and floods in Tawi River.
Some of the areas on which paddy and other Kharif crops were grown have been totally washed away. The land has been converted into a riverbed and silt, sand and stones have deposited on a large cultivated area.
"Vegetables particularly hybrids and cauliflower sown by farmers have been completely destroyed due to heavy and continuous rains," Jamwal said.
Vegetables which are sown early like radish and knol-khol have been damaged in Nai Basti, Marh, Gajansoo Kana Chak and Panjore areas, he said.
At Kanachak, farmers said the losses to vegetable and other rabi crops was huge as areas, which were supplying vegetables to Jammu city, are now unsuitable for cultivation.
Many pumpsets and cattle sheds have also been damaged and washed away due to the flood waters besides irrigation channels.
The Director, after visiting the affected areas at Kothey Manhasan, Nai basti, Kana Chak and Panjore, has instructed the field staff to identify the damaged patches and carry out detailed documentation of the crops and the areas damaged.



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