Govind D. Belgaumkar

Arecanut growers fear button shedding

Panambur receives 257.8 mm rainfall, Bajpe 222 mm since Thursday

Farmers in the district badly affected

MANGALORE: Rain in Mangalore on Saturday and Sunday erased a 33-year-old record for rainfall in March besides affecting the life of many farmers in the district.

The two-day rainfall was nearly three times higher than the earlier record, as per Panambur observatory of the Indian Meteorology Department.

The 24-hour readings for March 22 and 23 at Panambur were 98.4 mm and 94.8 mm against the highest of 27.8 mm on March 7, 1975.

The rainfall at Bajpe for the two days were 90.3 mm and 80.9 mm against the highest of 48.5 mm recorded on March 28, 1963, according to Meteorology Centre at Bangalore. Going by the data given by the Bajpe observatory, a 45-year-old record has been erased.

Since Thursday, Panambur received 257.8 mm rainfall and Bajpe 222 mm.

The rain subsided on Monday, although overcast conditions prevailed.

A large number of areca nut growers of the region have been hit hard by the unseasonable rain.

Many farmers, who were harvesting the yield, have complained that the areca nut kept for drying had been damaged.

Impact

Raviprasad Rao, a resident of Mangalore, said his relatives, who grew areca nut on a large scale in the district, suffered huge losses.

“Arecanut spread for drying is sprouting”, he said. Some farmers are worried about button shedding in arecanut plantations.

The slush created by heavy rain near B.C. Road bus-stand caused hardship for commuters and bus drivers. The Mangalore Division traffic officer of Karnataka State Road Traffic Corporation K.R. Vishwanath told The Hindu that there were at least 10 cases of buses getting caught in the slush or craters.

“I have been busy for the last three days arranging lorries or cranes to pull the vehicles out,” he said. Buses were caught in slush in Sampaje Ghat, Charmadi Ghat and near Vitla, among other places, he said.

In Mangalore, water gushed into some roadside shops in Kottara Chowki. Corporation workers created vents to ease the flow of water.

A family of masons at Kodialbail had to abandon their house as water entered it.

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