Guv aids farmers as Sena-NCP-Congress defers meet


Mumbai, Nov 16 (IANS): Even as a joint delegation of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress postponed their meeting with Governor B.S. Koshyari on Saturday, citing logistical reasons, the latter announced a flood relief package for the distressed farmers in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena legislative party leader Eknath Shinde said that leaders of all the parties as well as legislators who are in different parts of Maharashtra could not reach Mumbai for various reasons.

"They are busy touring the flood-affected regions, arranging the 'panchnama' procedures and preparing their election expenditure reports and affidavits which have to be submitted to the Election Commission. Hence, today's meeting has been postponed," Shinde said in a statement.

Governor Koshyari on Saturday took stock of the damage to crops caused by unseasonal rains in October-November and announced a flood relief package for the farmers in the state, a Raj Bhavan official said.

Accordingly, a relief of Rs 8,000 per hectare up to two hectares for kharif crops and an aid of Rs 18,000 per hectare up to two hectares for horticulture/perennial crops will be given.

The Governor also announced exemption of land revenue in the affected areas and waived examination fees of school/college going children of those farmers who have suffered damages.

Koshyari has directed the state administration to immediately disburse the aid to the affected peasantry.

Earlier, NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said that the delegation was planning to apprise the Governor how after the state was brought under President's Rule, the administration has virtually been paralysed.

He also said that applications made by patients suffering from various ailments have not moved ahead and they continued to suffer.

At the joint meeting of the Sena-NCP-Congress on Thursday, the three parties had decided to call on the Governor and urge him to kickstart the dormant official machinery on priority. Though the meeting was postponed, the Raj Bhavan has already initiated relief measures for the farming community.

Currently, leaders of Sena, NCP and Congress are on tour in different parts of the state to assess the damage caused by the 'wet-drought' hitting Vidarbha and other regions.

After his tour in Vidarbha, NCP President Sharad Pawar said that farmers of foodgrains, orange, cotton, soyabean and jowar have suffered huge losses.

Pawar also said that he would raise the issue in the winter session of Parliament starting in New Delhi from Monday and demand maximum compensation for the affected peasants.

Visiting the ravaged farmlands in Sangli and Satara on Friday, Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had slammed the Rs 10,000 per hectare compensation announced by former Chief Minister Devndra Fadnavis and said that it should be raised to a minimum of Rs 25,000 per hectare, besides assuring that he would waive off all debts of state farmers.

According to official estimates, the unseasonal rains in the state in the past few days have rendered crops on over 54,00,000 hectares in some 325 sub-districts as useless.

  

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