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Crop loss: State on Centre?s radar

THE MASSIVE destruction to crops in Madhya Pradesh due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm has finally caught the attention of the Union Government even as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan maintained that the Centre has not provided any help so far.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 21:49 IST

THE MASSIVE destruction to crops in Madhya Pradesh due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm has finally caught the attention of the Union Government even as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan maintained that the Centre has not provided any help so far.

Close on the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s acknowledgement in New Delhi that hailstorm has caused damage to the crops in Madhya Pradesh, Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh today said here that a Central team will shortly visit the State to evaluate the losses to the crops. Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi has also written to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, urging them to provide immediate Central aid to MP.

PCC president Subhash Yadav has also written a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying the relief announced by the State Government to the hail-affected farmers is inadequate. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his whirlwind tours of Vidisha, Betul and Raisen districts assured the hail-hit farmers of all possible help.

At Vidisha, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said today that Central assistance of Rs 1000 crore has been sought for relief to hail-affected farmers but the Centre has provided nothing so far. However, the State Government would spare nothing to help them, he added.

Addressing a public meeting at village Botho in Betul, Chouhan said that damage to the harvested crops lying at barns would also be assessed and the affected farmers would be provided relief. He said that packages of fertilisers and seeds are being prepared for the farmers.

He presented a cheque of Rs 1.95 lakh under Employment Guarantee Scheme to village Sarpanch Urmila Uike. The Chief Minister said that more works would be started if need arises to provide employment to the needy.

Chouhan also visited hail-affected village Ucher in Raisen district and talked with the affected farmers. He directed the district administration to ensure that there is no migration. Minister of State for Culture Laxmikant Sharma, Minister for Revenue Kamal Patel, MLA Gurucharan Singh and a large number of farmers were present.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited hailstorm-affected village Khamkhera in Vidisha district. Farmers apprised the Chief Minister of the loss to crops.

Chouhan saw the extensive damage and assured of maximum possible assistance. He said that the provisions of the Revenue Book of Circulars have been amended to provide maximum relief to affected farmers. The Chief Minister said that efforts would be made to ensure that tahsils and villages are considered a unit under crop insurance scheme.


Relief to 5254 persons so far
A SUM of Rs 68.30 lakh has been distributed to 5254 hailstorm-affected people so far whereas Rs 1.47 crore has been sanctioned in 7990 cases. The natural calamity has damaged crops in 2.82-lakh hectare land in 7732 villages in the State.

The administration has been geared up to assess the loss to crops and distribute relief to the affected people. As many as 8305 houses have been damaged and 83 lives lost. Besides, 812 cattle heads have perished in the State.