Mumbai: Hailstorm over Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha claimed four lives, with State government officials saying an assessment of the damage caused has been ordered.
A revenue official said the hailstorm started around 7.30 am and continued for 30 minutes.According to officials, three men from Jalna and a woman from Washim died in the hailstorm.
“The hailstorm has severely damaged crops including grapes, cotton, green gram and wheat among others. A sizeable loss of cattle and poultry has been reported. The damage assessment report will be finalised in the next couple of days,” said a revenue official from Aurangabad.
Many districts such as Beed, Osmanabad, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli, Dhule, Nandurbar and Aurangabad also reported heavy rains in the morning.
“Namdev Shinde, a 65-year-old farmer from Vanjar Umrad village in Jalna tehsil, and Asaram Jagtap (60), from Nivdunga village of Jafrabad tehsil, died due to the hailstorm in Jalna district. As many as 180 villages from Jalna are badly hit,” Collector of Jalna Shivajirao Jondhale told PTI.
A senior officer of the revenue departments said, “Yamunabai Humbad (60) from Washim district died when she was at her farm.”
State Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar, ordered assessment of the damage caused.
“Every affected village should be visited, the losses should be documented and a report must be filed. The officials can email their final report to the state government,” Fundkar said
He said a meeting with crop insurance companies would be held at Mantralaya on Monday.
According to an agriculture department official, farm produce like wheat, oranges and grapes were severely damaged in some areas.
Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said the victims should get compensation before the start of the state’s Budget session, scheduled for February 26.
The India Meteorological Department had issued an advisory that a hailstorm-like situation may develop over parts of Maharashtra.
Taking note of the The India Meteorological Departmentadvisory, the state government had asked farmers to be prepared for the untimely rains and hailstorm.
Marathwada and Vidarbha experienced rainfall
Parbhani recorded 0.5 millimeter (mm) rainfall. In Vidarbha, Nagpur recorded 7 mm, Gondia recorded 5 mm, Wardha recorded 5 mm, Akola recorded 3 mm and Amravati recorded 2 mm.