₹701 cr. relief package is belated aid for last year’s unseasonal rains, says Dada Bhuse

File photo of Dada Bhuse.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The ₹701 crore relief package for farmers in flood-hit Maharashtra announced by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Parliament was part of last year’s relief arrears, claimed Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse.

Mr. Bhuse, along with State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, said they hoped for early assistance from the Centre to rehabilitate citizens who have suffered from the rain that has been battering Maharashtra. More than 200 people and thousands of livestock have died in floods and landslips triggered by the torrential rains last week.

On Tuesday, Mr. Tomar, replying to a question in Lok Sabha, said that the Centre had approved ₹701 crore towards relief of farmers in flood-hit Maharashtra.

“The Central government’s announcement of the assistance to the tune of ₹701 crore to the State government is the belated relief aid for unseasonal rains that had hit the State in June-October 2020, causing severe damage to cropland. It is not for loss suffered due to the present rains… At that time, we had demanded ₹3,701 crore from the central government. Yesterday, the Centre has announced it was giving ₹701 crore… we have already spent ₹2,428 crore to recompense farmers who suffered last year’s unseasonal rains,” Mr. Bhuse said, expressing hope that the Centre would soon give the State the remaining ₹3,000 crore.

He estimated that floods had ravaged more than 4 lakh hectares of cropland in the State. “This number [of cultivable area damaged] is likely to rise… Some villages are still flooded and authorities are facing difficulties getting there. A comprehensive damage assessment of destroyed crops like paddy, sugarcane, cotton, soybean and tur in western Maharashtra and the Konkan have yet to be carried out,” Mr. Bhuse said.

Over 2.5 lakh people have moved out of their homes or been evacuated due to the floods caused by heavy showers. More than 300 relief camps have been opened in the afflicted districts while 16 NDRF teams are still on ground carrying out operations.

Meanwhile, former chief minister and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has urged the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to go beyond normal rules and regulations while formulating a package for rain-ravaged Konkan and western Maharashtra.

“I have told authorities to rehabilitate villagers as per their wishes. In several places, people have lost even their most basic belongings… Some families are such that only a few members are surviving. There is a lot of anger among the flood-hit and the State government needs to announce a comprehensive package soon,” Mr. Fadnavis said, while touring Kolhapur and Satara today.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:44:15 PM |

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