Crop damage: Amarinder calls disaster management panel meet

Chandigarh: Following damage to crops resulting from unseasonal rain and winds, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday called for an urgent meeting of the Disaster Management Committee to assess the extent of the losses.

High-speed winds and rainfall on April 16-17 caused damage to the Rabi crops in the state and the Chief Minister had on Wednesday ordered a special girdawari to ascertain the damage.

Harvesting of wheat had already started in most parts of the agrarian state when the inclement weather hit the state.

The Chief Minister asked the state’s Chief Secretary to issue detailed guidelines to the deputy commissioner’s (DCs) to enable completion of the special girdawari on a priority basis.

Reviewing the situation, Amarinder directed the Chief Secretary to monitor the progress of the special girdawari and ensure it is completed on an urgent basis, a spokesperson said.

Taking stock of the reports submitted by the Agriculture Department regarding the damage caused to the standing crops, the Chief Minister ordered all possible steps to expedite the process in order to ensure timely disbursement of compensation to the affected farmers as per government norms, the spokesperson said.

Standing wheat crop in hundreds of acres of agricultural fields in Punjab and Haryana has been damaged due to untimely rainfall and storms over the last 72 hours, revenue and agriculture officials from both agrarian states said on Thursday.

While the exact damage would be known only after it is assessed by revenue officials in various districts of both states, agriculture department officials said that this could run into hundreds of crores.