Govt to provide relief for damage to winter crop: Minister

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Chandigarh, Mar 4 (UNI) The Punjab government will make all-out efforts to provide relief to farmers whose crops were damaged due to frost and severe cold during the winter months this season.

This assurance was given by Rehablitation and Disaster Management Minister Ajit Singh Kohar on a Call Attention Motion tabled by Charanjit Singh Channi (Ind) in the Punjab Assembly here today.

Even though frost and severe cold have not yet been included in the list of calamities covered under the Calamity Relief Fund Scheme of the central government, the state government will make efforts to alleviate the burden of poor farmers, he said.

While pointing out that as per government policy no relief is given where the crop damage is less than 25 percent, the Minister told the House that reports show that in a crop area of 65,554 acres the damage was from 26 per cent to 100 per cent and the crop loss in 11,197 was below 25 per cent. As per norms of relief of state government the total relief works out approximately to Rs 17 crore.

The government is already well aware of the problems of the poor farmers whose crops have been damaged by hoar frost (Kohra) and severe cold waves in the current winter season, he said. The vegetable crop like potatoes, tomatoes and peas had been severly effected, he added.

Mr Kohar said that following reports of damage all the Deputy Commissioners were asked to conduct special girdwari to assess the loss caused by frost and severe cold.

The reports by Deputy Commissioners indicated that in 13 districts (Bhatinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Mohali, Moga, Mansa, Nawanshahar, Patiala and Sangrur) there had been 26 per cent to 50 per cent loss in 38,570 acres. There was 51 per cent to 75 per cent loss in 21,901 acres and above 75 per cent loss in 5081 acres in these districts.

He informed the House that there was no loss in six districts of Amritsar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Ropar, Tarn Taran as reported by Deputy Commissioners. The loss in Muktsar district was below 25 per cent.

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