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Maharashtra cabinet nod to assistance worth Rs 10,000 cr for farmers hit by rains, flood

Compensation higher than prescribed norms, say officials, disbursement to be given before Diwali

Written by Vishwas Waghmode | Mumbai |
Updated: October 14, 2021 8:05:00 am
Rain-battered Taliye village in Maharashtra's Raigad. (Express photo by Deepak Joshi)

The state cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs 10,000 crore as financial assistance to farmers for the crop and land damages they faced on over 55 lakh hectares due to heavy rainfall and floods that hit Maharashtra between June and October. Sources said the disbursement will start immediately and farmers will be given compensation before Diwali, which is in the first week of November.

According to the statement from the chief minister’s office, the heavy rains and floods in the state damaged more than 55 lakh hectares of crops from June to October 2021. It was decided to announce a package of Rs 10,000 crore to the farmers affected by the natural calamity without waiting for the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) norms, said the statement.

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The relief package for the farmers comes in the backdrop of the recent floods in Marathwada districts and parts of Vidarbha districts in the state.

According to the decision, crop compensation of Rs 10,000 per hectare will be given for non-irrigated land, Rs 15,000 per hectare for irrigated land and Rs 25,000 per hectare for perennial crops. The assistance will be provided up to a limit of 2 hectares.

Officials said the government has announced higher compensation than the prescribed norms. As per the norms, compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare is given for non-irrigated land while Rs 13,500 per hectare is provided for irrigated land. For the loss of perennial crops, compensation of Rs 18,500 is given.

An official said that 15 districts have reported crop damages on over 43 lakh hectares while few other districts have estimated damages on around 12-15 lakh hectares. “Almost 80% of farmers will be covered in the compensation for the non-irrigated land,” said an official. “We will start disbursement immediately and will give it before the festive season,” he added.

The official further said that the farmers who have been paid as per the existing norms between June and October will get the difference in amount now. In July, after the heavy rains and floods in Konkan and parts of Western Maharashtra, the government had given the farmers crop compensation as per the existing norms.

“After the July floods, the government had decided to disburse the compensation as per the norms immediately with a view to take review once the monsoon is over. Now, the government has increased the compensation over and above the NDRF norms. While those affected by the recent floods will get the increased compensation, those who have been paid compensation as per norms will get the difference amount under today’s (Wednesday) decision,” added the official.

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