Agra, March 7 (IANS) Hailstorm accompanied by untimely heavy rain flattened wheat and mustard crops and also damaged potato crops in Agra district of Uttar Pradesh, leaving the affected farmers worried about their losses.

Some of the affected farmers threatened to commit suicide if the authorities failed to promptly help them in the wake of damage to their standing crops by hailstones on Friday evening.

Hundreds of villages in the area continued to remain under knee-deep water. The weather office in state capital Lucknow warned of inclement weather on Saturday as well.

“For the past one week, potatoes were being dug out and packed in gunny bags. Rain halted the harvest work. Now, our fields are inundated. Potatoes yet to be harvested could rot; that is our fear,” said farmer Ravi Singh living in the Barauli Ahir block.

Not only the residents of rural areas, but even those living in the city were affected by the downpour. A large number of city colonies were flooded, with reports of road cave-ins pouring in.

Municipal Commissioner Arun Prakash and Mayor Navin Jain assured of prompt help to drain out rainwater and repair of damaged roads.

Meanwhile, several teams of district officials have since been sent to assess the extent of losses suffered by farmers, a senior officer said on Saturday.

District Agriculture Officer Dr Ram Pravesh Singh said the affected farmers should apply for farm insurance against their crop losses within 72 hours.

BJP’s Lok Sabha member from Fatehpur Sikri, Rajkumar Chahar, has asked the District Magistrate to halt revenue collection from farmers and instead gear up the process to provide prompt relief to those affected by rain.




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