ANDHRA PRADESH

Crop damage in gale extensive: Collector

NIZAMABAD, MARCH 11. The district Collector, D.V. Raidu, has said crops have been damaged in 15,858 hectares in 287 villages spread over 22 mandals of the district in the recent gales and hailstorm.

Crops like sunflower, maize, jowar, sesamum, bengalgram, redgram, greengram, blackgram, paddy, chilli, wheat, onion, bajra, turmeric, vegetable plants and banana and sapota orchards were badly spoilt.

647 houses damaged

As many as 647 houses totally collapsed and 1,981 houses were partially hit. Similarly, 150 sheep, 30 goats and 10 milch cattle and 8,000 chickens perished, he said. After taking a look at the damaged crops at Borlam in Makloor mandal on Friday, he assured farmers of Government help.

He asked them not to lose heart and try to face the challenge boldly. Official teams were going round villages to collect data on the damage, he said.

Officials were asked to interact with farmers and gather crop-wise and individual household-wise information. He also took stock of the damage to tomato and sunflower crops in the village.

Two farmers -- Sai Prasad and Gidda Ramulu -- told the Collector that they had gone for dry crops following suggestions from officials. However, crops which came to harvest were damaged in the gales, they lamented.

Mr. Raidu said he would send a detailed report to the Government on the damage and aid to be extended to farmers.

The Revenue Divisional Officer, Krishna Mohan Reddy, and the Mandal Revenue Officer, Gangaiah, accompanied the Collector.