Free Press Journal

Maharashtra government seeks Centre’s help to assist hailstorm-hit farmers


Mumbai: The state government demanded Rs. 200 crore from the Centre to aid farmers affected by hailstorm and unseasonal rain. According to Vijay Kumar, principal secretary of Agriculture department, farmers will also get compensation from insurance companies and hence there will be less burden over state exchequer.

The part of Vidarbha, Marathwada and North Maharashtra was hit by hailstorm and unseasonal rain on February 10 and 11. According to primary report, more than 1.80 lakh hectares land has been affected.

Pandurang Fundkar, minister for agriculture while speaking with media persons on Wednesday said, “As of now, according to punchnama, standing crop on 1.27 lakh hectares land was destroyed on Saturday and Sunday. Wheras on Monday’s hailstorm, crop on 61,361 hectares land has been damaged.”

The most affected crops included orange, mango, wheat, jowar, sunflower, harbhara, lemon and other crops. Fundkar said, “Farmers who have insured for their crop, will get compensation. At the same time, even the farmers who do not have insurance will also get compensation and state will take care of such farmers.” He added, state has requested Centre to aid Rs. 200 crore for the farmers.

When asked whether the amount will be sufficient to help for the crop loss on 1.80 lakh hectares, Vijay Kumar, principal secretary intervened and said, “We have requested Centre to apply norms of National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) which will be quite good as compare to state’s norms.” “The insurance company will also compensate the farmers. Keeping this in mind, Rs 200 is not s huge amount and we can bare it, if Centre will not assist us,” said the secretary.

According to state’s norms for insured crop loss, maximum compensation of Rs. 23,300 per hectares is applicable to loss of orange. Rs. 40,000 per hectares is applicable for loss of banana crops. For mango, Rs. 36,700 per hectares and Rs. 20,000 per hectares for lemon crop will be applicable.

If the crop is not insured, the farmer will get compensation up to Rs. 18,000 per hectares based on NDRF norms. Fundkar said, for perennial crops, farmers will get compensation of Rs. 13,500 per hectares whereas for crops under non -cultivated (jirayat) will be Rs. 6,800 per hectares. “The final punchnama is expected to be completed within next couple of days and the amount of compensation is likely to be disbursed in third week of this month,” Fundkar said.