Kendrapara:Standing paddy crop worth lakhs of rupees over an area of 12-acre was damaged in fire at Mulabasant under Mahakalapada block of Kendrapara district Saturday evening.
The mishap occurred as sparks emanating from electrical wires fell on standing paddy crop, said Amar Pradhan, a farmer of Mulabasant. “The fire that erupted in a corner of the field at around 8.30 pm engulfed paddy crop on a 12-acre land and engulfed all that came on its way,” said Satyabhama Pradhan, another farmer.
Several farmers tried desperately to douse the flames and retrieve half-burnt paddy. Fire department personnel with the help of locals managed to contain the flames from spreading to other fields. However, paddy crop belonging to 25 farmers was destroyed in the mishap.
“Our fate now hangs in balance as fire played havoc with our crop,” said Janardan Das, a farmer. Mahendra Sethi, another farmer of the village, wondered how will he repay debts he had availed from banks as his field too bore the brunt of the inferno. Bipin Behera, who suffered heavy loss as paddy crop over his four acre land was destroyed, said, “I had borrowed Rs 60,000 from the village society to cultivate paddy. Now I am ruined.”
Panchanana Swain, the Sarpanch of Balipala gram panchayat, demanded proper compensation for the farmers.
Contacted, Kendrapara Sub-Collector Sanjay Mishra said, “I have directed the tehsildar of Mahakalapada and the District Agriculture Officer to submit a report on the incident after visiting the village. Assistance would be provided to the affected farmers accordingly.”