Recent unseasonal rains damaged standing crops on 13,729 hectares in 8 districts of Maharashtra and orders have been issued to provide immediate relief, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the state assembly on Wednesday.
He said the untimely showers affected crops like mango, wheat and ‘harbhara’ (Bengal gram). “Orders to release immediate relief and financial assistance have been issued,” said Fadnavis.
Maximum damage has been reported from Palghar, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Nandurbar, Dhule, Buldhana and Washim districts, he said. A decision on immediate relief was taken on Tuesday night based on preliminary information and the exact extent of damage is being ascertained, he said.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s office said that he had spoken with the chief secretary and a few district collectors about the damage to crops. He had also instructed revenue officials to conduct the damage assessment survey of the affected areas, his office had said.
On Wednesday, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar raised the issue and demanded that the government spell out how it plans to mitigate the hardships of farmers who lost their standing crops due to unseasonal rains, thunderstorms, hailstorms and lightning.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Chhagan Bhujbal said when the state celebrated Holi with colours on Tuesday, it was a black day for farmers. Congress’ Nana Patole demanded that the Lower House sets aside the business of the day to discuss the measures needed to provide relief to farmers.