Mumbai: Demanding immediate financial assistance to the farmers and villagers affected by heavy rains and floods in various districts of the state, the opposition parties on Thursday slammed the Shinde Fadnavis government for delay in providing the aid. A special debate was initiated by the leader of opposition in the state assembly Ajit Pawar who claimed that while farmers are left neglected the ministers were busy in their felicitations.
“Since last one month, most parts of the state have been affected by heavy rains and floods, crops on millions of hectares have been damaged, thousands of hectares of land have been washed away by flood water, thousands of animals have died, many houses have collapsed, many villages have been disconnected, farmers have committed suicide,’’ said Pawar and termed the government‘insensitive’, busy in the felicitation while not providing immediate assistance to the farmers.
He warned that the Opposition will not rest until the farmers are provided aid. He demanded that the criteria of 'NDRF' and 'SDRF' are outdated and need to be changed. He reminded that the state delegation during the MVA government had met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who gave a positive response but still the criteria have not been revised.
An independent and former minister Bachhu Kadu, who joined the Shinde camp after the rebellion staged by Shinde, did not spare the state government and led a blistering attack against it for delays in giving financial aid to the farmers.
Former chief minister Ashok Chavan claimed that there was no proper assessment of agricultural damage, saying it was doubtful whether the administration had done panchnama only for the floodaffected farms on the banks of rivers and canals. “In reality, crop losses are higher than government figures. The financial aid of Rs 13,600 per hectare announced by the government is not adequate as it does not even cover the expenses incurred by the farmers for soybean cultivation. In the state, the number of farmers with two hectares and less is 80 per cent. Therefore, the decision to increase the landholding limit for assistance to three hectares will not benefit 80 per cent of the farmers,’’ he said.
Shiv Sena legislator Bhaskar Jadhav demanded the government should not apply common criteria to Konkan for financial assistance, considering the geographical conditions there. He said if paddy is washed away due to floods the sowing for a second time will not be possible. He added that in other parts of Maharashtra the farmers can have an option of sowing for a second time for other crops.