Central committee visits hail-affected areas, report to be submitted by March 19

Mumbai : The Maharashtra government took assessment reports and feedback from ministers and officials who visited the hailstorm-affected areas of the state, mainly in Vidarbha and Marathwada. Sources within the government said that damage to over 13 lakh hectares, death of people and cattle would amount to several thousand crore rupees. However, the government is compelled not to make an announcement which would be political in nature, because of the election code of conduct.

“The government can issue a GR or inform in a manner that doesn’t seem like a political announcement, for this too, they would first have to inform the Central Election Commission, state commission and then take the decision,” Nitin Gadre, CEO of state commission told Free Press Journal.

The government held meetings with ministers during the day to finalise the relief package that would be given.  Meanwhile, the Central committee too visited areas in Nagpur. Their report is expected to be submitted to the Central government on March 19.

Chief Secretary JS Saharia said, “It is not a compensation for the loss of crops, it is a relief scheme. The decision is expected soon.” Saharia added, that the state government will give its relief immediately, however it will take time for the Central government to disburse their amount.

“They have certain format and procedure, the panchanamas of the farmlands will take time. Moreover, the report that our government will have to submit to the Central government is extremely detailed and time-consuming,” said Saharia.

The Central government has certain norms for relief during natural calamity. Per hectare, Rs 4,500 crore for dry lands, Rs 9,000 crore for Irrigated lands and Rs 12,000 for Horticulture lands, maximum 2 hectares per farmer.

STATE STAFF TO DONATE A DAY’S SALARY

The state administrative staff will donate a day’s salary for hailstorm-affected farmers which amounts to Rs 200 crore.

“Nearly 15 lakh staff will contribute to this relief fund,” said, G D Kulthe, chief advisor of the Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers Federation.

Sharad Pawar tweets on hail storm

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who toured the affected areas, tweeted on Thursday, “Reviewed hailstorm situation; Maharashtra, MP, AP, Karnataka, Rajasthan badly affected. Central teams sent to all to identify damage.”

“On basis of the report of Central teams and after seeking permission from Central Election Commission, the government would decide on financial package,” the tweet further said.

According to Pawar, 28 districts across Maharashtra and MP were the worst affected. He expects the detailed report of Central

teams to be ready by March 19.

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