Heavy rains lash Punjab at harvest time

Chandigarh, Sept 23: Heavy rains have lashed vast swathes of Punjab and some parts of Haryana since yesterday, raising fears of damage to paddy crop which is ready for harvesting. After untimely rains and hailstorm in March-April this year caused heavy damage to crops in the two leading agrarian states, heavy showers at the fag end of the monsoon have again increased the woes of the farmers.

“Heavy rains, just before the paddy procurement, may affect the quality of grain and increase moisture content in standing paddy plants. The current spell of rain is not good for paddy including basmati as the crops are almost ready for harvest.

“Moreover, there have been reports of rains being accompanied by strong winds at many places in Punjab which will further damage the crop and may affect yield,” Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) President Balbir Singh Rajewal said. During the past 24 hours ending at 8:30 this morning, heavy rains lashed several places in Punjab and few parts of Haryana, a MeT Department official said.

Amritsar received 60.2 mm rains, Ludhiana 36.8 mm, Patiala 13.8 mm, Ropar 108 mm, Anandpur Sahib 60 mm, Hoshiarpur 190 mm, Madhopur 200 mm, Gurdaspur 185 mm, Sangrur 29 mm, Tarn Taran 76 mm, Moga 31 mm, Nakodar 55 mm, Nabha 75 mm and Mohali 100 mm. Chandigarh received 101 mm rains. In Haryana, among other places, Panchkula received 90 mm rains, Ambala 106.7 mm, Karnal 17 mm, Naraingarh 108 mm, Jind 30 mm, Kurukshetra 17 mm, Morni 47 mm and Jagadhri 74 mm received heavy showers.

Notably, between June 1-September 15 period, rainfall deficiency in the two states was at over 40 per cent, as monsoon had remained inactive for most part of August and early September.

Earlier in March-April this year, untimely rains had caused heavy damage to some crops in the two states.