Maharashtra announces Rs 10,000-crore relief package for state’s rain-hit areas, amount to be disbursed before Diwali
The announcement from the chief minister’s office came days after Uddhav Thackeray took a review of the estimated losses to crops, livestock, structure in the areas which were hit hard by the rains.Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 15:51 IST
The Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra government on Friday announced a relief package of Rs 10,000 crore for the rain-affected parts of the state, saying the amount will be disbursed before Diwali. The announcement from the chief minister’s office came days after Thackeray took a review of the estimated losses to crops, livestock, structure in the areas which were hit hard by the rains.
Thackeray, while speaking to reporters, also claimed that the Maharashtra government is yet to receive a total of around Rs 38,000 crore from the Centre. He made the comments after holding a meeting with the key leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) on the issue. Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar also took part in the meeting held at the chief minister’s official residence ‘Varsha’ here via video-conferencing.
“I don’t like the word package, but we will give Rs 10,000 crore assistance... It will be used for different purposes,” Thackeray said.
The retreating monsoon caused damages to harvest-ready crops across over 7 lakh hectares, in more than 10 districts in central and western Maharashtra. Farmers were expecting bumper crops until torrential rain hit areas like Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Osmanabad, Latur, Beed and Aurangabad last week after satisfactory rainfall this monsoon.
The rains flattened standing crops like soya bean, cotton, gram, sugarcane, pomegranate. Cash crops, like cotton, soya bean and sugarcane also suffered extensive damage. Solapur in western Maharashtra and Osmanabad in central Maharashtra are the worst-affected.
Officials have said that district collectors and divisional commissioners of the affected districts have been directed to complete spot assessments and release compensation at the earliest.
At least 29 people were killed last week due to heavy rainfall last week in five districts in western Maharashtra. The Konkan region had sustained crop losses due to Cyclone Nisarga in June and heavy rainfall affected crops across 1.80 lakh hectares in Vidarbha in August. The state has already raised a demand with the Centre for relief to affected farmers.
Uddhav Thackeray toured flood-affected districts in western and central Maharashtra on Monday after opposition parties criticised him. They had said that the chief minister should assess the loss after the rains from the ground instead of evaluating the situation through video conferencing.
Thackeray began his two-day tour of flood-affected districts in western and central Maharashtra on Monday. Thackeray, along with other senior ministers from his cabinet, visited villages that were hit by heavy rainfall in Solapur and then went to Osmanabad.
Devendra Fadnavis, the leader of opposition and former chief minister, also began his three-day tour of flood-hit districts on Monday. Before that, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar visited villages in Solapur and Nanded last Sunday as part of his two-day tour.