Unseasonal downpour, hail, ‘rains’ havoc on Maha farmers

Mumbai:-Unseasonal showers, stormy weather with thunder, lightning and winds, coupled with hail lashed several parts of Maharashtra since midnight, inundating many low-lying areas and severely damaging standing crops in many areas, officials said here on Tuesday.

Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Akola and other places experienced sporadic rains and thunderstorms.

In Mumbai, certain areas like Kurla, Jogeshwari, Dahisar, Bhandup, Wadala saw mild waterlogging after the overnight rains, though there was less public movement owing to a holiday for Holi festival.

Some parts of Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Satara, Buldhana were lashed with hailstones that clobbered the standing crops and added to the woes of the farmers already reeling under dire crises owing to falling prices.

Crops of wheat , onions, jowar, soybeans, grapes, mango, banana and pomegranate, cashew and other fruits, pulses or vegetables were badly damaged or destroyed in huge tracts of farmlands in rural Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Buldhana, Satara and other parts, bringing tears of woe on the Holi festival.

Taking serious note of the reports of havoc in different parts of the state, Agriculture Minister Abdul Sattar ordered the district authorities to carry out ‘panchanama’ of the damaged crops of farmers on priority to enable initiation of the compensation process.

IMD Pune Director K. S. Hosalikar said that there are moderate intensity clouds over Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Beed, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon and parts of Vidarbha and Marathwada, with a possibility of thunderstorms in these regions around noon today.

For Mumbai, the IMD has forecast rains with thunderstorms, wind speeds reaching upto 50-60 kmph over the next two days (March 7-8), with minimum temperatures dropping to around 25 degrees C, though the maximum temperatures will be around 36 degrees C.

Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Pune remained heavily overcast since dawn, indicating more rains during the day as the people celebrate the festival of colours with the mercury dropping to pleasant levels, affording relief from the sultry heat of the past couple of weeks.