Reports obtained by Food and Supplies Department have estimated that 80,400 hectares of cropped area have been damaged in the recent floods, affecting around five lakh farmers.
The data, announced by Food Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick, is said to be the direct result of continual release of water for four days by the Damodar Valley Corporation and the government of Jharkhand, which, state ministers, have maintained was not backed by a prior notification.
Mullick said 44 blocks in the four districts — East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Hooghly and Howrah — were heavily submerged.
“The main crop that has been damaged is paddy, in all the four districts, along with added loss of groundnut in Hooghly and sugarcane in Howrah,” the minister said.
Districts No of area Farmers
blocks affected affected
East Midnapore 5 12,431 hectares 1,85,000
West Midnapore 23 49,588 hectares 1,76,847
Hooghly 13 6,909 hectares 41,454
Howrah 3 11,472 hectares 68,832
Total 44 80,400 hectares 4,72,133
Even as the ministry awaits final report from Burdwan and Malda, it has confirmed that several parts of the two districts have been left affected as well.
A breakdown of the damage, mentioned in the report, reveal that 216 mouzas in East Midnapore and 1,571 mouzas in West Midnapore have been affected with Hooghly and Howrah recording damage in 242 and 165 mouzas, respectively.
The scenario has thrust the state government to “work on a war footing towards assessing the overall damage and extending relief”.
“The district magistrates have been asked to prepare assessment reports. We are making arrangements for rescheduling of crop loans. We will also ensure that the affected farmers are compensated through crop insurance, launched recently by the state government,” Mullick said, adding that further assistance to the farmers, in form of mini kits for crop of their choice and support with successive crops, will be provided.
The food minister said that efforts are being taken to ensure no price rise occurs because of the calamity.
“We are conducting regular raids to monitor illegal hoarding to avoid an artificial crisis which might lead to a price rise,” he said.
Agricultural marketing minister Arup Ray,