WITH MORE than 8.7 lakh farmers suffering losses due to flood in western Maharashtra, the state government has directed speedy settlement of claims under its crop insurance scheme in the flood-hit areas.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has issued instructions that claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana should be settled on an immediate basis. Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Eknath Dawle said that directives in this regard have already been issued to the insurer and the concerned districts.
Dawle added that instructions have also been issued to the local district level officers of the agriculture department to settle insurance claims on an urgent basis. The flood damage is likely to take a heavy toll on the state’s exchequer, which is already reeling under the financial strain. “Speedy settlement of claims will ease the burden,” an official said.
Torrential rain and subsequent flood have left a trail of destruction in Maharashtra. According to preliminary estimates, the government on Tuesday had pegged the crop damages alone at Rs 2,088 crore, while the collective loss was estimated to be Rs 6,813.93 crore.
The flood has ravaged about 4.06 lakh hectare of farm area under kharif cultivation. Of this, about 1.81 lakh hectare is irrigated land, mostly under cane production. More than 1.2 crore farmers in Maharashtra have availed crop insurance — the highest number in India.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the state relief and rehabilitation department issued a series of resolutions releasing money for various rehabilitation activities in the flood-hit belts.
Following the tragedy, the government has also undertaken a risk assessment exercise for villages situated next to the flood plain in Kolhapur and Sangli. Officials said that a medium-term plan is to relocate villages found extremely vulnerable to flood. Strengthening measures will be undertaken in areas found to be moderately vulnerable. A civil engineering team from the IIT has been roped in for the mapping task, said officials.