Rains lash Punjab, Haryana; wheat crop damaged



Chandigarh: Rains accompanied with thunder squall hit several parts of Punjab and Haryana in the wee hours Thursday, causing considerable damage to wheat crop in the twin agrarian states.

High velocity winds and rains disrupted normal life in the region throwing power supply at several places out of gear following snapping of electricity wires and uprooting of polls, officials said here.

The rains will delay wheat harvesting by a couple of days, they said.

Though sickle is put to wheat traditionally on 'Baisakhi', which falls tomorrow, yet harvesting in most parts of Punjab and Haryana had already been delayed due to prolonged winter spell.

"The unseasonal rain will further delay it. The wheat arrivals in mandis will naturally be delayed," the officials said.

The high wind velocity accompanied with rains caused damage to the standing wheat crop by flattening it in parts of fields at certain places.

Besides, grains in such portions will lose their quality and sheen, causing further loss to farmers by fetching less price in the market, they said.

However, the earheads of wheat which was not yet fully mature will gain with rain as water was still required for their maturation, experts said.

They said rain alone was not as harmful for wheat as was the strong winds.

The inclement weather caused a dip in maximum temperatures by around three degrees Celsius in most parts of the twin states, the MeT Office said.

Chandigarh received 19.4 mm of rains followed by 14 mm at Ludhiana, 3.9 mm at Rohtak, 3.6 mm at Amritsar, two mm at Patiala and 0.5 mm at Ambala.

PTI