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Hailstorm, rain continue to lash Maharashtra’s Marathwada, Vidarbha districts, destroy crops

The hailstorm led to four more deaths in Amravati, Buldhana, Washim and Parbhani, taking the toll to six

mumbai Updated: Feb 14, 2018 09:43 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,hailstorm,unseasonal rain
The hailstorm led to four more deaths in Amravati, Buldhana, Washim and Parbhani, taking the toll to six. (FILE)

Hailstorm and unseasonal rain in parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha on Monday and Tuesday led to more crop loss.

The hailstorm led to four more deaths in Amravati, Buldhana, Washim and Parbhani, taking the toll to six. According to preliminary estimates by the state agriculture department, crops on around 35,000 hectares are damaged owing to the hailstorm and untimely rains on Monday and Tuesday. It is likely to take the final figures of the entire area to 1.60 lakh hectares, officials said. On Monday, the agriculture department had estimated crop loss on 1.24 lakh hectares of land.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has again predicted light rain in isolated parts in Vidarbha and Marathwada for Wednesday. The affected districts are Wardha, Nagpur, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Amravati, Buldhana, Nanded and Parbhani.

The agriculture department has asked the district authorities to start conducting panchnamas of the damage to provide compensation. “We are still waiting for the preliminary figures from all districts, but the losses are likely to reach 1.50 lakh hectares,” said Bijay Kumar, principal secretary, agriculture department.

By Tuesday morning, Nanded was the most affected district owing to natural calamities, with a loss of around 20,000 hectares, while in the Nagpur division comprising five districts, 13,000 hectares was estimated to be hit, sources said.

Facing financial crunch, the state is planning to approach the Centre to provide financial assistance to farmers. Medha Gadgil, additional chief secretary, state relief and rehabilitation department on Monday, said they are waiting for the final report on the damage. “We may also ask for financial assistance from the Centre, as crop losses fit in to the norms of the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) norms,” Gadgil said.

According to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms, farmers who toil crop on non-irrigated land get compensation of Rs6,800 a hectare for up to two hectares for damage owing to natural calamities. For irrigated land, they are entitled to get compensation of Rs13,500 a hectare, while for horticulture or perennial crops, they get Rs18,000 a hectare as compensation.

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 09:43 IST