The downpour in the last week of September has damaged crops over nine lakh hectares in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region, with parched Latur district being worst hit in terms of loss of crops. The heavy rains between September 21 and September 26 affected 3,821 villages in the region where 199 cattle have died so far, according to state minister Dileep Kamble.
“The actual damaged area is 9,15,431 hectares with soyabean being the largest hit crop. Latur district, with 3,94,730 hectares of primary losses, is the worst affected area,” the MoS for Relief and Rehabilitation told PTI.
Interestingly, Latur was receiving drinking water via a special train from Miraj in Sangli district till first week of August. “In a period of less than a month, Latur is now hit by rains,” the minister added.
Kamble said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has already ordered officials concerned to issue compensation amount to the farmers with a relaxation from mandatory panchnama of the damaged crops.
Beed, Osmanabad and Nanded are the other three districts where damaged areas are more than one lakh hectares.
Meanwhile, an official from Aurangabad revenue division, which comprises these affected districts, said the information on crop loss is based on the primary estimation and it is being updated as well.
“Real challenge is mud and water stuck in the fields that restricts government officials’ access to farm. Hence, damage assessment could take more time,” the official said.