Staff Reporter

1,106 hectares of paddy crop destroyed

Estimated revenue loss pegged at Rs.2.26 crore

Bund breaches reported in three major padasekharams

ALAPPUZHA: The situation in Kuttanad continues to be grim with incessant rain ensuring that the ‘puncha’ season would be delayed. Till date, 1,106 hectares of standing paddy crop were reported to have been completely damaged, with the estimated loss pegged at Rs.2.26 crore. The damage was spread over Nedumudi, Champakulam, Kainakary, Alappuzha municipality, Punnapra, Thakazhi, Ambalapuzha, Purakad and Karuvatta.

The estimates would go up once the damage ascertaining process was over, Deputy Agriculture Officer K. Babu and Additional District Magistrate Koshy John told The Hindu. The ‘puncha’ season, scheduled to begin by October 15, was delayed because the rain has thrown off track the preparations for sowing and due to the rain-afflicted delay in harvesting in fields where the additional crop was cultivated from May.

According to Mr. Babu, harvest was affected in 4,500 hectares at present. With rainwater making it difficult for combine harvester machines to enter the fields, mechanised harvesting, which could save whatever was left of the crop, has been ruled out. In addition to this, bund breaches in three major padasekharams have delayed the ‘puncha’ sowing in those areas too. These were in the 436 hectare-Mathikayal padasekharam of Pulinkunnu panchayat, the 271 hectare-KL Block padasekharam and the 57 hectare-Aapukayal padasekharam in Neelamperoor panchayat.

Though farmers are trying to pump the water out of the fields, increased water flow from the Pampa River and the Vembanad Lake is slowing down the efforts.