Staff Reporter :
Opposition finds aid inadequate, delayed
Maharashtra Government has released the aid to be given to farmers affected due to crop damage caused by excessive rainfall and hailstorm in the months of March, April, May, and July earlier this year. Though the Government has released total aid of Rs 487.933 crore, the Opposition has alleged that the aid is inadequate and released late. Revenue and Forest Department of State Government released the aid vide two separate communications issued on October 6. For the period from March to May, the total aid of Rs 122.2630 crore has been released for 30 districts of the State. Whereas, the aid of Rs 365.67 crore has been released separately for crop damage due to excessive rainfall in July in 22 districts of the State. As far as Vidarbha region is concerned, for the crop damage in period from March to May, an aid of Rs 43.893 crore has been released.
A substantial part of this -- Rs 21.0814 crore -- has been released to Amravati district, followed by Rs 10.1306 crore to Buldhana district, Rs 6.7742 crore to Washim, Rs 2.36858 crore to Bhandara district. In this tranche, Nagpur district, which is the Second Capital of Maharashtra, has got only Rs 23.545 lakh. Of the total aid of Rs 365.67 crore for the State for the loss during July 2021, Vidarbha region has got Rs 129.06 crore. Of this amount, a substantial -- Rs 84.26 crore -- has gone to Akola district, followed by Rs 23.96 crore to Amravati district, Rs 8.29 crore to Yavatmal. Chandrapur has got Rs 7.99 crore, and Nagpur has got Rs 2.50 crore. Gadchiroli district has got only Rs 16 lakh. The department has released the aid through Divisional Commissioners of administrative divisions to respective District Collectors. The aid is to be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries and the list of beneficiaries is to be displayed online. The Divisional Commissioners have been entrusted with the task of keeping track of utilisation of the funds released. Meanwhile, the Opposition has dubbed the aid as ‘too little, too late’.
Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition in State Legislative Assembly, issued a statement on Friday in which he alleged that the affected farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions were still awaiting relief to reach them. For the damage caused in July, all six districts in Nagpur Division have together got only Rs 10.65 crore, he added. “Excessive rainfall damaged crops in March, April, and May. The Government has released GR of aid on October 6. For the damage caused by excessive rainfall in July, Government issued statement regarding aid on October 7. If it takes months after crop damage to release aid, how much time will it take to reach the farmers in reality?” he stated. Fadnavis also expressed displeasure over paltry aid of Rs 10.88 lakh extended to Yavatmal, Rs 23.545 lakh to Nagpur, Rs 1.74 lakh to Osmanabad, Rs 26 lakh to Gondia etc.