State likely to announce wet drought

State likely to announce wet drought

NASHIK: The downpour in Marathwada and other parts of Maharashtra, including Nashik, where the preliminary estimates put the damage to kharif crops in an area of 30,000 to 35,000 hectares so far, on this backdrop, District Guardian Minister Chhagan Bhujbal has ordered immediate panchnama.

Major crops including maize, soybean, cotton, tur, millet, sorghum, onion, papaya and chilli have been hit hard. 48594 farmers in 135 villages of the district have severely affected due to the impact of cyclone Gulab and flash flood in Godavari. The intense rainfall has resulted in heavy damage to the standing crops of Kharif season.

According to preliminary estimates, crops on 25 lakh hectare have been damaged this monsoon including 11 lakh hectare damage caused in the last few days. Political parties and farmers have demanded that the government must announce wet drought in the State and provide immediate relief to farmers.

Between June and September, the State has received an average of 986.2 mm rainfall which is 115.3 per cent of the average rainfall the State receives. Maharashtra has 151.33 lakh hectare under Kharif cultivation of which sowing was carried out on 145.57 lakh hectare (96 per cent). The State government estimates that rains due to cyclone Gulab have caused damage worth Rs 8,000 crore and maximum damage to the crops was reported from the Marathwada region of the State.

In many districts of Marathwada, cotton and soya are completely damaged according to the reports. Farmer leaders have demanded that the State government must not wait for damage assessment reports and announce wet drought. The State Cabinet is likely to take a call on announcing wet drought so that farmers could get help and assistance as per the drought norms.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held rounds of meeting with officials and ordered to extend immediate help to affected farmers. According to State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar, seven districts in Marathwada have received an average rainfall of 170 mm to 190 mm in the monsoon season. He said that the government is assessing the damage and will provide relief to farmers in other rain hit areas of the State.

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