Rains damage harvested paddy left in open in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, June 16 (IANS) Incessant rains damaged hundreds of bags of harvested paddy left under the open skies in three Odisha districts of Kalahandi, Rayagada and Koraput, officials said Sunday.

The rain lashed many parts of the state during the past four days — as the monsoon set in across the state and a low-pressure belt also formed — damaging standing paddy crops too in over 1,500 acres in the three districts worst hit.

“At least 500 quintals of paddy kept in the open for procurement have been damaged by the heavy rain that lashed our region on Thursday and Friday,” G.C. Sethi, a senior administrative official at Bhabanipatna, the district headquarters town of Kalahandi, about 430 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, told IANS.

The rains also damaged standing and harvested Rabi crops lying in the fields. But the extent of damage has not yet been assessed, the official said.

Citing a preliminary damage assessment report the government received from the regions, a senior official of the state relief commissioner’s office here said the rains have damaged nearly 1,000 houses so far in the three districts.

The local administrations have intensified relief efforts in the affected area after the situation improved. Rains have ceased since Saturday, the official said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday spoke to collectors of all the affected districts through video conference, and took stock of the situation.

He directed the collectors to take steps to repair roads and bridges damaged by the rain within the next three days, a senior official in the chief minister’s office said, adding that Patnaik also sought status reports from the collectors within one week.

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