Maharashtra seeks Rs 3,721-cr aid from Centre for flood-hit farmers

The Maharashtra government in a memorandum to the Centre has sought an assistance of Rs 3,721 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to give ex-gratia for the crop losses, damage to infrastructure and livestock affected recently by the untimely rains and floods in October in Aurangabad, Pune and Nagpur revenue divisions.

A Central team is currently assessing the damage and submitting its report to the Centre.

A Relief and Rehabilitation Department Officer told Free Press Journal, “The state government has demanded Rs 3,721 crore from NDRF. However, the state from its own kitty has disbursed Rs 2,289 crore and has earmarked Rs 2,111 crore in the supplementary demands passed in the recently held winter session of the state legislature.”

He said the state government has given up to Rs 20,000 for 2 hectare against Rs 16,000 for dry and semi irrigated agriculture. For horticulture, the government has provided up to Rs 50,000 for 2 hectare against Rs 25,000.

He said the state government has already disbursed the ex gratia amount to 95 per cent affected farmers.

Nearly 10.05 lakh hectare had been damaged in addition to roads, bridges, houses due to heavy rains and floods reported in Marathwada, southern and western Maharashtra. The harvest season, fully grown crops that were about to be harvested have been severely damaged by this untimely heavy rainfall in the said region.

Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar in his recent letter to the Centre had said that since the losses are huge and the state government has been reeling from a spate of continuous disasters like Nisarg Cyclone, floods in Nagpur division along with the COVID 19 pandemic during the current year, financial assistance from the Centre would be urgently required.

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