Scindia seeks help for hail-hit | india | Hindustan Times
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Scindia seeks help for hail-hit

Congress leaders from Madhya Pradesh called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, seeking central intervention for immediate relief for farmers and other people affected in the state by the recent hailstorm.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2006 14:18 IST

Congress leaders from Madhya Pradesh called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, seeking central intervention for immediate relief for farmers and other people affected in the state by the recent hailstorm.

The delegation included AICC general secretary V. Narayanasamy, CLP leader Jamuna Devi, PCC chief Subhash Yadav, Union ministers of state Suresh Pachouri and Kantilal Bhuria, deputy Speaker Hazari Lal Raghuvansh and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia besides party MLAs. Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was present at their meeting with the Prime Minister.

They told the two leaders that central intervention in the matter has become necessary as the state government has done nothing except remove land tax and announce a Rs 2,000 per hectare compensation with a cap of Rs 20,000. Scindia said 44 of the 48 districts in the state have been affected by the hailstorm, destroying crop on 4 lakh hectares. A total of 84 people have died and 9,000 villages have been severely affected by the calamity.

In the given situation, the farmers need bigger compensation: Rs 10,000 for crop loss per hectare; power charges waiver for this season and writing off of loan interest for a year.

The Guna MP also pointed out that the state government was being tight-fisted despite a central allocation of Rs 200-300 crore under calamity relief. The Rs 10,000 per hectare compensation can be met out of this fund, Scindia argued, stating that it was a clear case of “insensitive governance” that makes central intervention crucial.

He requested the PM and Pawar that the proposal in the Union Budget to make the “Patwari unit” the nodal point for deciding compensation — as opposed to the Revenue circle — be implemented in MP with retrospective effect to cover the damage caused by the hailstorm.

In response, the Prime Minister and agriculture minister promised to send a central team to assess the damage and extent of relief needed by the people.