EVEN AS cyclone Maha fizzled away before hitting the Gujarat coast and most parts of Saurashtra got respite from unseasonal rain, Chief Minister Vijay Rupai on Thursday reiterated that the state government will pay compensation to those farmers whose crops have been damaged due to unseasonal or excessive rainfall this Kharif season.
“The state government will adequately compensate those farmers whose crops have been damaged due to recent unseasonal rain. The government is sensitive to farmers. Survey has been launched to assess damage (to crops). Hard toil of farmers shall not go in vain,” Rupani said while addressing a public meeting after inaugurating the newly-built headquarters of Morbi district police on Thursday.
Incidentally, the CM had given to farmers a similar assurance during his visit to Morbi early this week as well.
Sporadic unseasonal rainfall has been reported from almost all 12 districts of Saurasthra and Kutch regions in the past two weeks. The unseasonal showers and thunderstorms were initially induced by cyclone Kyarr and in recent days by cyclone Maha. Many farmers have complained that the unseasonal rain damaged their harvested groundnut crop and standing cotton crop, the two main cash crops of Saurashtra. After the unseasonal rain hit the state, the government announced that it will pay up to Rs 13,600 compensation to farmers affected adversely by it. The government has also been appealing farmers to lodge claims of crop damage with crop insurance companies.
Incidentally, Congress leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday demanded that the government pay farmers compensation against damage to their crops or Congress would launch an agitation of farmers. Unseasonal showers and thunderstorms were reported in many parts of Saurasthra and Kutch regions Wednesday, as cyclone Maha approached Veraval coast. However, the cyclone lost steam rapidly thereafter and had weakened into a depression by Thursday evening. While skies remained overcast, no significant rainfall was reported from anywhere in Saurashtra on Thursday.
The CM said the cyclone fizzling out was matter of relief. “Cyclone Maha has abated. It is a matter of relief. The state government makes preparations for rescue and relief in advance every time. Following the threat of Maha, we were able to evacuate people to safer places and shift pregnant women to hospitals due to such a preparedness. It is the government’s resolve not to lose a single human life in such natural calamities,” the CM added.
Dhanani writes to CM
Gandhinagar: Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani on Thursday wrote to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, asking him to relax the quality norm for procurement of groundnut at the Minimum Support Price, as the crop has faced heavy damage in the excess rainfall the state received this year. “Whatever small production of groundnut has happened, it is of very low quality. So, I request you to give MSP to the farmers of groundnut by relaxing the quality norm of the same,” Dhanani wrote.
He also asked the CM to expedite payment of farmers’ crop insurance claims.