"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.
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."