The state government is finding it extremely difficult to meet the enormous challenge of compensating the farmers affected by hailstorm, with the latest damage figure pegged at Rs 10,000 crore. The revised estimate says crops on total 18 lakh hectares were destroyed.
Last week, the damage was estimated to be on about 13 lakh hectares.
“Ready-to-harvest Rabi crops on over 18 lakh hectares have been damaged. The area is same in terms Kharif crops that were damaged by excessive rains last year. But the damage is higher this time since the Kharif crop was in cultivation stage. Also, the damage this time is more in the horticulture sector,” said a senior official.
As per the norms, the Centre can pay compensation only up to Rs 1,250 crore.
“There is an empowered group of ministers at the Centre that can increase the compensation by 1.5 times in special cases. Like, Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,500 for dryland, Rs 6,000-Rs 9,000 for irrigated land and Rs 8,000-Rs 12,000 per hectare for horticulture. But even that would be very much less than the actual damage that has happened in the present case,” said the official.
He said the Kharif damages couldn’t be calculated in terms of money since they were at cultivation stage. “But as per norms, they were paid Rs 1,041 crore as a whole, of which Rs 824 crore had come from the Centre,” he added.
Crop damaged, farmer ends life in Nashik
Nashik: A 42-year-old farmer in Daregaon village in North Maharashtra’s Satana taluka of Nashik district committed a suicide by consuming poison Sunday ,sources said. The farmer, Atmaram Sitaram Pawar, took the extreme step, unable to bear losses of his pomegranate and gram crops on seven acres of land, due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms, the police said here Monday. He is survived by his parents, wife, a son and two daughters. His body has been handed over to his relatives after post mortem. PTI