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Maha govt orders panchnama of unseasonal rain-hit crops spread over 50,000 hectares

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Shillong, April 12: Maharashtra’s Relief and Rehabilitation department has ordered panchnama (on-the-spot assessment) of crops hit by unseasonal rains and hailstorms in about 11 districts in the state.

The badly affected crops of jawar, wheat, mangoes, oranges, bananas and Rabi are spread over 50,000 hectares of land in Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Washim; Vidarbha region and Parbhani, Beed, Nanded, Latur, Dharashiv and Hingoli from the Marathwada region.

The weather bureau has predicted unseasonal rains and hailstorms for two more days which has been a cause of worry for the farmers.

State Agriculture Minister Dhananjay Munde said the district administration has been asked to early complete the panchnama and submit reports suggesting the financial assistance to be given by the government.

The minister admitted that due to model code of conduct, there are curbs on the relief and rehabilitation department to declare the financial aid. However, the government will initiate the action to provide relief to the farmers, he assured.

The department’s directives are crucial as amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the opposition Shiv Sena UBT, NCP SP and Congress have targeted the MahaYuti government for the damage to crops and the subsequent loss incurred by the farmers.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has countered the opposition’s move by making it clear that the government will provide all the necessary assistance to the farmers affected by nature’s fury.

In Amravati district alone, Rabi crops and fruits including oranges, mangoes, bananas, spread over 40,000 hectares were severely damaged. In the adjoining Akola, crops spread over more than 4,060 hectares in 74 villages were hit.

In Buldhana, crops spread over 3,500 hectares from 100 villages were affected.

NCP(SP) has slammed the BJP on the farmers’ distress, saying that the party has now divided the farmers into which party they are associated with.

“’BJP is approaching farmers only to seek votes but they will not allow such an insensitive government to continue,” the NCP(SP) said. (IANS)

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