Rajasthan disaster management and relief minister Govind Ram Meghwal on Monday informed the Assembly that assessment is being conducted to evaluate the damage to the crops due to the recent rainfalls in the state.
He said that the issue will be taken up with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for a special relief package for the farmers. The minister said due to untimely rains and hailstorms recently, the farmers have suffered crop loss and district collectors have been directed to conduct an assessment to evaluate the damage.
Meghwal informed the house during the zero hour that directions have been issued for the payment of agricultural input subsidies to eligible farmers affected by damage due to frost, cold waves and hailstorms in December and January.
He said that assistance will be provided to the farmers affected by crop failure from January to March in accordance with the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms. Meghwal said the state government intends to give a special package to give maximum relief to the affected farmers and a discussion regarding this will also be held in the cabinet meeting.
He said that on January 29 and January 30, orders were issued for the evaluation of crop damage due to hailstorms. In the assessment reports, more than 33 per cent of crop damage was reported in Kota and Udaipur districts where 18,422 farmers in 75 villages of 5 tehsils were affected, he said.
Meghwal informed that in 19 other districts, the information about crop damage is nil while action will be taken under SDRF norms after receiving information from the remaining 12 districts.
Similarly, on March 8, directions were issued for a special evaluation of crops damaged due to hailstorms. The assessment report showed that 8,293 farmers have been affected in 69 villages of 6 tehsils of Kota, Meghwal said, adding action will be taken as per the reports received from other districts.
Cornering the government over the issue, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said claims have not been released to the affected farmers to date. He expressed dissatisfaction with the government's reply following which the opposition staged a walkout.
Earlier, speaking on the issue, Amber MLA and BJP state president Satish Poonia said the majority of the crops have been damaged due to unseasonal rains. Poonia said 20 villages in his constituency have suffered crop damage due to the recent rainfall and the government should conduct a special assessment and provide relief to the farmers as soon as possible.