Unseasonal rain destroys 38K ha of crops, poses new challenge for ruling alliance | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Unseasonal rain destroys 38K ha of crops, poses new challenge for ruling alliance

Apr 14, 2024 07:20 AM IST

Since April 8, torrential rains and hailstorms have hit the western parts of Vidarbha which includes Amaravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Washim, Buldhana and parts of eastern Vidarbha such as Nagpur and Wardha. All eight districts in Marathwada have been affected by the untimely rain

Mumbai: Unseasonal rains and thunderstorms have wreaked havoc in agricultural fields of western Vidarbha and Marathwada causing crop damages of 38,000 hectares. Some of the worst-hit areas, include Washim, Amaravati, Jalna, Sambhaji Nagar and Beed, where crops like maize, onion, fruits and vegetables are affected.

Unseasonal rain destroys 38K ha of crops, poses new challenge for ruling alliance
Unseasonal rain destroys 38K ha of crops, poses new challenge for ruling alliance

Political experts say the natural calamity amidst the upcoming Lok Sabha election has posed an unexpected challenge for the ruling BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP coalition as farmers expect immediate relief from the state government. Chief minister Eknath Shinde and agriculture minister Dhananjay Munde have already started taking stock of the situation.

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In the next fortnight, 13 constituencies, including all 10 in Vidarbha region will vote in the first two phases. Most of these constituencies have agriculture as a major occupation. As such, the unhappiness among farmers could become a damaging factor for BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP. Sensing this, chief minister Shinde and agriculture minister Dhananjay Munde stepped in to take relief measures for farmers. CM Shinde spoke to the district collectors reviewed the situation and asked the administration to take necessary action immediately to give relief to the farmers. Shinde also asked the additional chief secretary in the chief minister’s office, IS Chahal, to request the Election Commission of India to exempt relief measures from the code of conduct.

Munde visited several villages in Marathwada to assess the losses of crops and also met farmers there. “In Marathwada, vegetables and fruit crops have been affected on a large scale. I have ordered the administration to complete the survey for the report of crop losses. Those farmers who have insured their crops should file the crop loss reports to the concerned insurance companies,” he said.

Since April 8, torrential rains and hailstorms have hit the western parts of Vidarbha which includes Amaravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Washim, Buldhana and parts of eastern Vidarbha such as Nagpur and Wardha. All eight districts in Marathwada have been affected by the untimely rain. The meteorological department has issued orange and yellow alerts to the region for the next two days.

Farmers’ leader, Vijay Jawandhiya of ‘Shetkari Sanghatana’ said that this untimely rain has damaged crops and the economics of farmers badly. “In February and March, too farmers in some areas suffered due to the untimely rain and their crops were damaged. In the last three days due to untimely rains, crops like vegetables, fruits and wheat have been damaged. Farmers have not received any help for the losses in February and March till now. At that time there was no code of conduct and the administration did not work efficiently to help the farmers. So now there is a big question mark on if the administration will help farmers immediately.” said Jawandhiya.

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