Two months after drought declared, no compensation yet for Maharashtra’s farmers
Even after two months since the Maharashtra government declared drought in 151 tehsils, the affected farmers have yet to get compensation.
The state government has sought a relief package from the Centre which is yet to be released. Wary of a negative reactions from the drought-affected people months ahead of the crucial general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state has now decided to start providing compensation from its own kitty to the affected farmers instead of waiting for Centre relief package.
The process may take another month to complete.
On Tuesday, the state government directed all the district collectors to prepare detailed list of affected farmers within 15 days to start the process.
The list will have details of the farmers, type of crop damaged and quantum of damage based on which compensation amount will be determined.
The decision was taken in the cabinet sub committee on drought headed by relief and rehabilitation minister Chandrakant Patil, officials from relief and rehabilitation department said.
Patil said, “We have now decided not to wait for the Centre to release its financial package.”
He said the state government will start providing monetary relief to the drought-hit farmers from its own exchequer. The directives to start preparations have been issued which will take some 15 days to complete.”
The state government had declared drought in 151 tehsils as per National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) norms on October 31 last year. It means all the villages under these 151 tehsils are entitled for the central assistance.
It has also sought financial assistance of ~7962 crore from the central government, of which, ~7103 crore is for damages to crops, ~535 for providing fodder and ~323 for water supply.
But following uproar by opposition parties and farmer organisations over leaving out affected villages from the list of the drought-hit villages; the state government decided to add another 318 revenue circles as drought affected.
It was also decided to provide them compensation from its own kitty as they are not eligible for compensation under NDRF norms.
There are total 358 tehsils covering 36 districts in the state and each revenue circle comprises 30-40 villages.
According to NDRF norms, the farmers who sow crop on non-irrigated land are eligible to get compensation of ~6,800 per hectare up to two hectares as compensation for crop damage. In case of irrigated land, they are entitled to get compensation of ~13,500 per hectare.
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