Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar on Thursday claimed that as many as 137 farmers have died by suicide in the state since the Eknath Shinde-led government came to power. Instead of tackling this crisis and the flood situation, ministers were busy patting their own backs, he said, speaking in the Assembly.
“Three farmers are ending their lives every day, if we calculate. Why is it that farmers feel no confidence in this government? The government must implement policies that will prevent farmers from committing suicide,” the NCP leader said while initiating a debate on the condition of farmers in the wake of the recent floods in Vidarbha and Marathwada.
Pawar demanded a compensation of Rs 75,000 per hectare for farmers and Rs 1.5 lakh per hectare for orchard owners. “The state received heavy rainfall in the last two months and there is more in the offing. Majority of dams are full and there is a threat of overflow of water if this continues," he said.
As most of the dams are about to be filled up, an official of the Water Resources department should be deployed on dams even at night to monitor the situation, Pawar said. The funds available under the National Disaster Response Fund were too small, he said, adding that this issue had been discussed in a meeting of then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Pawar himself and then minister Ashok Chavan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year. “He (Modi) was positive when we requested that the norms be changed. I expect that the present government follows it up," Pawar said.
(With PTI inputs)