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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Odisha including Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal heaved a sigh of relief as the cyclonic storm melted out fast before hitting the landmass. 

Though the system didn't cause any major damage, heavy rainfall triggered by the storm left a trail of devastation for the farming community, not only in the coastal but also the south and northern belts of the State.

As reported by the Jagatsinghpur agriculture department, over 84, 000 hectares of farmland were inundated by rainwater triggering the possibility of a massive loss in the crop yield for the farmers in the region. A special team has been engaged for the assessment of crop damages. 

Almost all types of crops have been battered by the storm in the district. Field staff and Revenue officials have been deployed for crop damage assessment. "After receiving the survey reports we can initiate further steps for compensation," informed Raj Kishore Dash, District Agriculture Official, Jagatsinghpur. 

The situation of farmlands is almost the same in Balasore, Bhadrak, Chandbali, Nilagiri, Basudevpur, Sore, Bahanaga, Khaira and Udala apart from Kendrapada's Aul, Pattamundai and Rajnanagar. 

Of the total 1.5 lakh hectare farmlands in around 11 blocks under Puri district, 1.3 lakh hectare fields are submerged in water. Konark, Gop and Nimapada have suffered extensive damage to crops in the district. 

"After a few days, we would have harvested the ripe crops. But, due to the cyclone, we failed to harvest the crop. The standing crops were damaged in rain and now we are under stress of how to repay the bank loan we have availed for cultivation," rued a farmer.  

Further, he added, "We hope, the government will aid us financially as soon as possible so that we can tackle the misery."

Vegetable farmers also have suffered a huge loss during the heavy downpour. At places where crops have managed to evade the cyclonic impact, apprehension of pest attacks has doubled the agony of farmers.

Meanwhile, State's Revenue Minister Sudam Marndi has assured to begin the process of compensation after receiving crop damage assessment reports from concerned collectors. 

"We have demanded a detailed report of crop damages from across the State. After the collectors submit the reports, we will take the necessary action as per the relief code and provide compensation to the farmers," said Marndi. 

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