Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the ministers who had visited areas affected by unseasonal rain to take a stock of the situation.
Rains have caused havoc in several parts of Maharashtra, laying waste to standing Kharif crop on around 70 lakh hectares.
The meeting, attended by both BJP and Shiv Sena ministers, came amid the tussle between the two parties over power sharing after the Assembly elections.
The ministers briefed the chief minister about the situation and submitted their suggestions, a statement from the Chief Minister's Office said here. Fadnavis announced that all necessary measures will be taken, just as in the case of drought, it said.
The first installment of assistance to farmers would be given immediately and it would be independent of farmers' loan accounts so that they can have cash in hand, he said.
He also directed that works be undertaken under the Employment Guarantee Scheme for cleaning up agricultural fields in the aftermath of rain, the CMO statement said.
Coordination with insurance companies should be ensured as over 50 lakh farmers are covered by crop insurance, Fadnavis said, and asked the Finance Department to give top priority to provision of assistance to farmers.
He also directed that measures be undertaken to help farm labourers including ensuring food security for them.
BJP ministers who attended the meeting included Chandrakant Patil, Pankaja Munde, Vinod Tawde, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Girish Mahajan and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.
From the Sena's side, Ramdas Kadam, Eknath Shinde, Diwakar Raote, Deepak Kesarkar, Vijay Shivtare and Dadaji Bhuse were present.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Ramdas Kadam said, "The Sena has demanded Rs 25,000 per hectare as immediate financial assistance for farmers. The caretaker chief minister has agreed to it."
Crop on 70 lakh hectares is damaged, including cotton on 19 lakh hectares and soybean on 18 lakh hectares, he said.