An enraged Nitin Gadkari had shouted at the protestors asking them to sit down. He even said, "thokun kadha" (beat them up). This had allegedly prompted the mob to rain blows on the Vidarbha activists.
In order to highlight the struggles and demands of women farmers from suicide-affected households from Vidarbha and Marathwada, the Maharashtra chapter of MAKAAM organised a symbolic agitation at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Wednesday.
“This time it is more severe than the 1972 drought. He claimed that even 22 days after drought was declared, the government was yet to undertake relief measures and provide water tankers to the people,” NCP leader Dhananjay Munde said.
Earlier, Leader of Opposition in state Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, also urged the government to initiate concrete steps towards drought mitigation. Vikhe-Patil said, “The crop loss should be adequately compensated immediately.”
The study ‘Agrarian distress: Why Vidarbha and Marathwada alone’, which aims to identify the causes behind the farm crisis in these regions, says top priority should be given to watershed strategies while planning mitigation measures.
“The Centre and the state are working together to raise the finances in the ratio of 25:75 to complete the irrigation projects,” said Minister for Water Resources Girish Mahajan in the legislative assembly.
The farm produce should be parked within enclosures or provided full covers to avoid damage, the advisory read. The districts where precautionary measures are necessary include Gadchiroli, Gondia, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Latur, Amravati and Yavatmal.
The distressed districts, which have reported highest number of farmers suicides in last 15 years, have plenty of water but lack of infrastructure to channelise the water to the farmers’ fields. As a result, farmers’ income does not commensurate with the target set by the government.