With the discontent growing in rural Maharashtra in the backdrop of agrarian crisis, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday has formed a team of senior officials to oversee the state response to the distress.
On the lines of the Union government’s initiative, the state government has decided to extend compensation to all those farmers who suffered over 33 per cent crop damage.
It has also raised compensation for crop damage on the lines of the formula adopted by the Union government.
Compensation has been increased from Rs 4,500 to Rs 6,800 per hectare for dry land, from Rs 9,000 to Rs 13,500 per hectare of fertile land and from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 per hectare for horticulture to farmers who have suffered crop damage.
After a severe drought crippled kharif crop production, unseasonal rains have ravaged rabi crops, contributing to a spurt in farmer suicides. Farmers in the state are blaming the Fadnavis government for not stepping in or doing enough to help the distressed families.
Fadnavis on Tuesday appointed a team of six senior officials to oversee relief and mitigation measures in suicide-prone districts: Yavatmal in Vidarbha and Osmanabad in Marathwada.
The chief minister has ordered a survey to find out reasons behind the high incidence of suicides and has directed officials to reach out to distressed families and to involve communities in arresting suicides.
The officials have been empowered to restructure farm loans and grant loan waivers. They have been asked to put in place models to ensure good market price for agricultural produce and have been specifically asked to be on the field every fortnight. Works under the Jalyukt Shivar-aimed at a ‘drought proof’ Maharashtra would have to be completed in these districts before June 15.