Give farmers drought relief of Rs 50,000 per acre: Vikhe Patil

PTI
Thursday, 25 October 2018

Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil Thursday demanded that farmers affected by drought in Maharashtra be given financial aid of Rs 50,000 per acre and their Kharif crop loans for the current year be waived off.

Mumbai: Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil Thursday demanded that farmers affected by drought in Maharashtra be given financial aid of Rs 50,000 per acre and their Kharif crop loans for the current year be waived off.

The state government had, earlier this week, declared "drought-like" situation in 180 tehsils in Maharashtra. Vikhe Patil claimed signs of drought-like conditions were seen about two months ago but the state government looked the other way.

"Due to deficient rainfall, it is doubtful if the Rabi crop sowing can be done," Vikhe Patil said at a press conference here. The Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly criticised Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' flagship project Jalyukt Shivar and claimed that it was a scam.

"Jalyukt Shivar is a scam...it is Jholyukt Shivar...I am collecting data village by village and then I will speak about it," he said. He indicated that the issue would be raised during the winter session of the Maharashtra legislature.

"The only thing remaining is to file a PIL (on Jalyukt Shivar) in the Bombay High Court," said Vikhe-Patil.
He also questioned new norms of drought declaration put in place in 2016. While the government earlier used the "paisewari" or "annewari" system to declare drought in a particular area, it now follows the Manual for Drought Management, released in December 2016.

Under the "paisewari" system (literally meaning value of crop), officials, just before the harvest of the Kharif crop in October, would make an estimate of the crop grown. If the crop grown is less than 50 per cent of the average of the preceding ten years, then a drought year would be declared. Under the new norms, four impact indicators and 13 sub-indices are taken into consideration for the declaration of drought.

Vikhe Patil said that difficult norms were make it tough for farmers to get relief, adding that satellite survey of villages was hurting people. 

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