Pawar meets CM, demands aid for Cyclone Nisarga-hit Konkan ; Fadnavis says relief yet to reach affected districtsUpdated: Jun 12, 2020 00:25 IST
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday demanded a slew of relief measures for the people affected by Cyclone Nisarga in coastal Konkan region in his meeting with chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday.
Pawar and Thackeray’s meeting comes amid former CM and leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis’s two-day tour of the affected districts. Fadnavis on Thursday alleged that even nine days after the cyclone, no relief had reached people from the state government.
While Pawar expressed satisfaction with the relief package announced so far for immediate assistance, the NCP chief said much more needs to be done to remedy the situation, said a senior leader present at the meeting.
The meeting was held at the old mayor’s bungalow in Dadar and was attended by Thackeray, Pawar along with a few senior ministers and leaders from Konkan region belonging to both the NCP and Shiv Sena. Tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray, higher education minister Uday Samant, NCP MP Sunil Tatkare were also present.
“He (Pawar) said fishermen are yet to get any relief from the state and added they are badly affected by the natural calamity. He also said farmers need money to clear debris accumulated on farm land and orchards following cyclone. Pawar also suggested implementing employment guarantee scheme (EGS) for farmers who have lost everything,” said a leader who attended the meeting.
Cyclone Nisarga affected coastal Konkan severely with preliminary estimates showing damages to perennial crops across more than 22,650 hectares in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts besides losses of property. Hundreds of villages remain disconnected due to loss of electricity and telephone services in these coastal districts.
“Pawar saheb shared a detailed information about damage and losses of the people with the chief minister. We had a comprehensive discussion, and are hoping the state government will come out with more decisions to provide relief to the affected people,” Tatkare told reporters after the meeting. Pawar is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard, added Tatkare, after assessment of losses is completed in Konkan.
Pawar’s meeting comes after his two-day tour of Raigad and Ratnagiri districts to understand the scale of damage.
Thackeray had also toured the affected districts and announced immediate assistance of ₹200 crore for the three districts — Raigad (₹100 crore), Ratnagairi (₹75 crore), Sindhudurg (₹25 crore).
In a cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, the government had also decided to increase the relief compensation for affected farmers from the prevalent norms.
The deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday has declared that the cyclone-hit families whose houses have fully collapsed will be given ₹1.5 lakh instead of ₹95,100 as per the existing National Disaster Response Fund norms. The aid for partial loss of homes has been increased to ₹15,000 from the existing ₹6,000. Similarly, the state has increased the financial aid for the loss perennial crops to ₹50,000 per hectare from the existing ₹18,000 a hectare. Cash compensation for losses of household material, like clothes and utensils, has been increased to ₹10,000 from the existing ₹5,000.
Fadnavis, however, said, “Even nine days after the cyclone no relief seems to have reached the people in Konkan. There are also several shortcomings in the package as it does not address the needs of fishermen, loss of income due to damage to trees etc. The situation of people living in temporary shelters is pathetic. People need tin and cement to rebuild their homes, and there is a mushrooming black market for these materials.”
Fadnavis was speaking to reporters in Shrivardhan, Raigad after he toured the area and met with locals.
“The government needs to take concrete decisions like we took last year after the floods in Kolhapur and Sangli including offering one-time rental assistance to affected people, allowance for buying clothes, utensils,” Fadnavis added.