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Rains kill six, wreck crops in AP

Rains kill six, wreck crops in AP
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Six persons died and crops damaged during the unseasonal rains that lashed across the State for the last two days, said Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Prathipati Pulla Rao. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, the minister said that two persons each died in lightning struck in Srikakulam, Anantapur, Kurnool and Kadapa districts.

Hyderabad: Six persons died and crops damaged during the unseasonal rains that lashed across the State for the last two days, said Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister Prathipati Pulla Rao. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, the minister said that two persons each died in lightning struck in Srikakulam, Anantapur, Kurnool and Kadapa districts. The government had directed the district collectors concerned to immediately disburse an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each each to the families of the deceased.

Electrical poles have been uprooted and reports coming from districts till the afternoon of Monday suggest nominal damages to the houses in these districts, he said. According to initial reports, nine kinds of horticulture crops in an extent of 2,000 acres have been damaged and damage to agricultural crops has been identified in an extent of 1,500 hectare. However, as the forecast for next two days indicates rains, enumeration of the overall damage caused would be taken up after two days, Pulla Rao said.

Farmers recovering paddy plants from an inundated field in  Nellore district on Monday

Until now the input subsidy has been provided only for the crops with 50 per cent damage. But, the government has decided to extend the input subsidy to the crops that suffered damage of 33 per cent and above. While mango, orange, sweat lime and others would be given Rs 18,000 per hectare, for papaya, chilli and onion the subsidy would be disbursed at Rs 13,500 per hectare, and for non-irrigated crops it would be Rs 6,500 per hectare, he said.

In case crops like paddy and maize, steps would be taken to assess the total damage, and the government would be ready to procure the discoloured paddy, maize and other crops. Hence, Pulla Rao appealed to the farmers not to worry over the loss caused as the government is ready to extend the compensation.

The minister said that he would personally tour Anantapur and Kurnool district from where the maximum damage has been reported due to rains with hailstorms. However, district collectors from Chittoor and Prakasam said that rains would be beneficial to them as it would provide the much needed water, since these districts have been reeling under acute water shortage.

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