Kendrapara: Standing paddy crop spread over 45 acres were today destroyed in a major fire in riverside Pailo village under Patkura police station jurisdiction, the police said.
Nearly sixty farmers have been badly hit with fire causing extensive damage to the crop.
The deficient rainfall had already hit the peasants hard and the fire incident has damaged all the crop of the Kharif season.
The standing crops were matured and the cutting would have taken place in a day or two, the affected farmers said while the police was yet to ascertain the exact cause of the fire.
“Though we tried our best to douse fire, nothing could be saved. Fire brigade personnel arrived on time. However damage had already been done before they could douse it,” said a local farmer, Prahalad Parida.
“Destiny has played joke upon us. First of all, it was nature which had reduced our yield prospect because of deficient rain. Now the fire has dealt a lethal blow. Our means of survival are gone with the fire,” rued Jagabandhu Sethy, who cultivated paddy crops in an acre of land.
District Collector Debraj Senapati said “The local tehsildar and agriculture department officials have rushed to the spot to assess the extent of damage. All farmers whose crop was damaged in the fire would be compensated as per government guidelines.”