NORTH LAKHIMPUR, April 23 - Strong winds with thunder accompanied by hail lashed Dhakuakhana subdivision in Lakhimpur on Wednesday night destroying several Muga silk cultivation areas.
The thunderstorm which devastated the subdivision at 8 in the night, completely destroyed Muga plantations, many with live silkworms. The worst-hit areas are the villages under Gandhiya and Dhenudhora-Batomari Gaon Panchayat of Dhakuakhana where Somanis or Som plantations � host plant for Muga silkworms in more than 100 bighas of land were destroyed.
Noted Muga expert and national award winning agricultural entrepreneur Jitul Saikia was one of the rearers who lost the entire plantation of Som used for Muga worms. According to Saikia, more than 50 families of these two Gaon Panchayats lost their entire Som plantations in the thunderstorm. He roughly calculated that at least Rs 30 lakh worth Muga were lost in the natural disaster.
�Our Muga rearing has been pushed back to four years as a new plantation requires minimum four years to grow host plants for Muga silkworms,� said Saikia. This appears to be a double blow to the traditional Muga rearing families of Dhakuakhana as they could not do any business in the festive Bihu season due to ongoing lockdown.
The unprecedented thunderstorm and hails pulled down hundreds of trees of a wide area in Dhakuakhana destroying power cables and blocking many roads. The entire area is without electricity since Wednesday night because of this. Roofs of many houses were also flown away by the thunderstorm while many houses were destroyed by falling of trees.