Sunday, July 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Cotton growers’ hopes washed away
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

SANDOHA (Bathinda), July 22 — Mr Gurnam Singh, a farmer of this village, paid Rs 68,000 to get 8.5 acres on lease to grow cotton with the hope that he would make a handsome profit. He also spent Rs 2,500 per acre more to grow cotton.

But heavy rain which lashed the region last week dashed his hopes to the ground as his entire crop was destroyed in the standing rainwater.

Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Ajaib Singh and Mr Balbir Singh, three brothers also from this village toiled hard to grow cotton crop in their joint landholding of 5.5 acres. They sowed a hybrid seed. The cost incurred was Rs 2,500 per acre. However, the heavy rains have destroyed their cotton plants.

The widespread rain which lashed the region on July 14 and July 16 has damaged the cotton crop in hundreds of acres of land in Surj, Mansa, Tala Sahib, Jaga Ram Tirath, Lelle Wala, Sheikhpura, Natt, Nava Pind, Pucca Kalan and several other villages of the district. The affected farmers are in greater soup as they cannot sow any crop in the submerged fields. The growers have not been able to drain out the stagnant rainwater from low-lying fields.

In certain areas, the villagers have had to break roads to make way for the rainwater to flow in its natural direction.

Mr Harminder Singh Jassi, MLA and general secretary, PPCC, who made a tour of the affected areas, in a letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has sought relief for those whose cotton crop has been damaged and for those who have been rendered homeless. He has pointed out that the crop in about 10,000 acres has been damaged in Talwandi Sabo subdivision alone.

Official sources said due to the damage caused by the heavy rains to the cotton crop in this district, the over-all production would fall. Those farmers whose crop had been destroyed could not sow it again during this season.

Mr Kattar Singh Jeeda, president, North India Cotton Growers Association, has urged the Punjab Government to hold a special girdawari to measure the loss and to give compensation to the affected farmers.

Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, when contacted, said he had directed all Sub-divisional Magistrates to assess the loss to crop and property in their respective areas.

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