THE UNSEASONAL rains and hailstorms have damaged crops sown on more than two lakh hectares of land in Vidarbha, Marathwada and parts of the North Maharashtra region of the state. The final report on exact assessment will be notified after the panchanamas are recorded across the districts, which witnessed unseasonal rains accompanied by hailstorms.
State Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse has directed district officials to complete the panchanamas and submit a detailed report on crop loss due to unreasonable rain and hailstorm within 15 days. Bhuse said, “Our primary information is that unseasonal rain and hailstorm have badly affected parts of the Vidarbha and the Marathwada region, and a couple of districts in north Maharashtra. The exact loss in terms of crop loss and financial loss will be tabulated once the panchanamas are completed.”
Moreover, the reports of newer districts hit by unseasonal rains will make the exercise more cumbersome. Based on the information gathered from district agriculture officers it is noted that crops sown on more than two lakh hectares have been adversely hit by rains and hailstorms.
In the Vidarbha region, the districts badly affected are Wardha, Gondia, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Nagpur, Amravati. The Naxal-hit Gadchiroli is among the worst-hit districts. Apart from crops, orange cultivation has also been impacted. The Vidarbha region accounts for 30 per cent of orange cultivation in the country.
Officials said that all the eight districts of the Marathwada region have been subjected to unseasonal rainfall. The districts which have seen maximum crop damage are Latur, Parbhani, Beed and Nanded. In North Maharashtra, the unseasonal weather has badly hit the districts of Dhule, Nandurbar and Nashik. Grapes and banana plantation has received a setback due to the rains.
Former Agriculture Minister Anil Bonde said, “The lack of response from Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is a cause of concern. The unseasonal rain and hailstorm are being treated casually, but the situation is serious.”
“In the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, which witnessed unseasonal rain and hailstorm during the same period, the state government has already announced crop loss compensation of Rs 30,000 per hectares. Whereas, the Maharashtra government has just issued orders for panchanamas,” he claimed.
While agreeing that the process is taking time, guardian minister Nitin Raut said, “With recurring rains, the panchanamas are ongoing. We issued orders immediately.”
An official from a Krishi Kendra in Vidarbha said, “In remote villages, especially in Gadchiroli district, it takes a longer time. Also, we have to keep updating the details. As Bhandara received another spell of rainfall after a gap of 48 hours it has to be updated.”
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