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MH: Power line sparking burning down sugarcane crop in Beed, say farmers

Aurangabad, Mar 21 (PTI) Farmers in Beed in Maharashtra have said “sparking” in electricity lines passing above their fields was burning down standing sugarcane crop.

They claimed sugarcane cultivated on an area exceeding 120 acres in different villages had got burnt down in this manner recently.

Ganesh Thapde, a farmer from Dhekanmoh in Beed, said he had lost nearly 400 tonnes of sugarcane over an area of 7.5 acres due to power supply fluctuation, with the latest fire taking place on Sunday at around 4pm.

“I has spent Rs 1.5 lakh as cost of cultivation in the last 14 months and the produce could have netted me Rs 8 lakh,” he said ruing his loss.

Farmer Govind Shingare of Awasgao said Sunday’s fire affected five sugarcane growers, while Vijay Nandure said he lost his crop over an area of 18 acres in a similar incident in Saundana village in Beed’s Kej tehsil.

“The produce was good this year due to long span of cultivation and abundance of water. The power lines pass just two to three feet above the cane. If these wires touch, sparks are emitted which sometimes burns down the crops,” Nandure told PTI.

Speaking on the issue, MSEDCL (Marathwada) joint director Mangesh Gondavale said, “Due to lack of firm soil, electricity poles sometimes start tilting, which causes lines to touch. In such a case, there are chances of sparking.” “We work on this problem during our maintenance rounds. However, farmers can contact us if they come across such a situation. We will try to solve it on priority,” he added.

Another official from the MSEDCL said 13 incidents of crops catching fire were reported in 2020-21, with five people getting compensation of Rs 9.99 lakh.

In 2021-22, between April and February, nine such incidents took place, with compensation of Rs 60,000 being given to two persons, while five cases have been returned with queries and two are yet to be decided, he added. PTI AW BNM BNM BNM

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