Rain blow to flowers
Incessant rain caused by depression, which las¬hed south coastal Odisha and nearby areas of Bengal in the past 48 hours, has damaged huge quantities of flowers cultivated in West Midnapore, East Midnapore and Nadia ahead of Viswakarma Puja.
Heavy to very heavy rain has lashed several south Bengal districts since Sunday. This weather is likely to continue for the next 48 hours. The weather office bulletin stated that the depression had weakened into a well-marked low pressure on Monday morning and was likely to move northwest across Madhya Pradesh in the next two days.
However, significant rainfall is likely to continue in south Bengal districts till Wednesday afternoon. On Monday, East Midnapore, South 24Parganas and Howrah saw heavy rainfall. Contai and Digha recorded 11cm rain. Uluberia, Canning, Diamond Harbour, Sagar Island recorded 7cm. Alipore and Jhargram recorded 6cm.
Heavy rain has dampened festive spirit to a great extent as 2,300 hectares of flowers in East Midnapore and West Midnapore are damaged. Similar damage has been reported from flower producers Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Howrah where marigold, jasmine and dopati, that are in great demand for Viswakarma Puja, grow.
This unexpected spell of heavy rain is likely to affect about 50,000 flower vendors in south Bengal districts, most of who belong to East Midnapore. The damage would lead to a crunch in supply and an unusual spike in the price of flowers during Viswakarma Puja and Durga Puja as well.
The Puja season is considered to be the mainstay for flower cultivators in Bengal.“The downpour has inundated our fields and damaged marigold buds,” said a farmer in Nadia district’s Dhantala.
“Fields are waterlogged. Roots of flower saplings are rotting,” a farmer in Tamluk rued.“Heavy rain at this time is a huge blow to flower farmers,” said Narayan Chandra Nayek, secretary of a state-level floriculture outfit of farmers and traders.
A weatherman in Calcutta said South 24Parganas, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah, Hooghly, Murshidabad, Nadia, Birbhum, North 24Parganas, Birbhum, Murshidabad and Nadia would see heavy rain (7–11 cm) in the next 48 hours (till Wednesday) accompanied by gusty winds.