The Centre on Monday said there has been some damage to the rabi (winter) crops including wheat due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm brought about by western disturbance, but it is yet to receive a report from the states. Speaking to PTI, Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary said the state governments are utilising the funds under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).
"There has been some damage. We have not received an assessment report on the extent of damage from the state governments," Choudhary said. The minister asserted that the central government will provide compensation under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) if the state governments submit a report after assessing the extent of damage.
Many parts of the country received unseasonal rains and hail in the last few days due to western disturbances, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Isolated thunderstorm, lightening, squall and hailstorm are expected over west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and East Rajasthan on March 20; and over Uttarakhand on March 21, it said in its daily forecast.
Meanwhile, IMD has advised farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh to postpone harvesting of wheat and other rabi crops. In case of matured crops, the IMD has advised farmers to harvest crops like mustard and chickpea in some states at the earliest and store them at safe places. Farmers have also been asked to withhold irrigation to wheat crop to avoid lodging. Wheat is a main rabi (winter) crop and harvesting has already started in some parts of the country. The government has projected a record wheat output at 112.2 million tonnes for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June).