After Unseasonal Rains, Maharashtra Seeks Rs 200 Crore Aid From Centre

After farmers sounded alarm bells fearing massive losses to an already burdened agrarian economy, the Maharashtra government swung into action and ordered a survey

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After Unseasonal Rains, Maharashtra Seeks Rs 200 Crore Aid From Centre

Several districts saw hailstorms and heavy rainfall leaving a white cover over standing crops

Mumbai:  Over 1,700 villages have been affected due unseasonal rains and hailstorms over the weekend in Maharashtra, according to surveys conducted by the state government.

"1,27, 000 hectares were damaged  on the first day and a loss of 60,000 hectares was seen on the second day of bad weather. 1,800 villages faced this difficulty and it's a very huge loss," Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar told NDTV.

After farmers sounded alarm bells fearing massive losses to an already burdened agrarian economy, the government swung into action and ordered the survey. The state government has asked the centre for Rs 200 crore in assistance to deal with the losses.

According to the minister, standing crop of wheat, gram, onions corn, mangoes, grapes, oranges and sweet lime have been badly damaged in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of the state.

Several districts in these two regions saw hailstorms and heavy rainfall leaving a white cover over the standing crops.

"Through the survey we have ordered we have enough estimates with us now, and the survey would be completed by tomorrow. After the survey is done, we would ask for more help if required," Mr Fundkar told NDTV.

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Kailash Jadhav, a farmer from Jalna district who suffered heavy losses, said, "This year the entire crop has been ruined. I don't know what to do. How do I pay for my kids' education? Both my plantations have been damaged. Where do I get money from? What if there is no help from the government? We feel like committing suicide thinking of these things even in our sleep."

The opposition has targeted the government for reacting late to the problem. The minister hit back at the opposition, saying, "The claims made by the opposition are false; they should look back in time and ask themselves if they ever conducted any surveys for these issues. Our government passed orders for a survey in four hours and the entire administration was on the ground to help farmers."
 

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