The farmers had to spend Rs 7000 for purchasing seeds, fertilizers, and finally sowing the soybean crop. However, the relief is Rs 4000 according to the Relief Package.
The Relief Package, announced by the Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan, for rain-hit, flood-ravaged Vidarbha farmers, has left farmers more with heart burning, instead. The Relief Package, instead of providing relief, is actually rubbing the salt to the injuries of farmers unleashed by furious and record-breaking rains in Nagpur District. The Vidarbha region was literally submerged by heavy rainfall causing losses in crores and crores on all fronts including agriculture.
The farmers had to spend Rs 7000 for purchasing seeds, fertilizers, and finally sowing soybean crop. However, the relief is Rs 4000 according to the Relief Package. Is it relief? Is it way of wiping out tears? Rather the relief is bringing tears, and not the cheers!! Moreover, the Relief Package is based on estimated losses till July 31. A survey of damaged crops on 50,000 hectares of farm lands has not even been done. Leave alone common farmers, the survey has not been carried out in a single village in Katol Taluka, the Assembly constituency of Food and Supply Minister Anil Deshmukh.
THE RELIEF PACKAGE:
It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had toured the rain-affected Divisions of Nagpur and Amravati. The CM then held a review meeting in Nagpur to apprise himself of the losses on all fronts. And a few days ago, the CM announced in both the Houses of Legislature the Relief Package of Rs 1934.50 crore for the victims of rain havoc.
According to the Relief Package, the families of the dead were to be given Rs 1.50 lakh each from Government and Rs 1 lakh each from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Rs 75,000 each for completely destroyed “Pakka” houses, Rs 25,000 for totally destroyed “Kaccha” houses, Rs 15,000 for partially damaged houses, Rs 4500 per hectare for crop damage (Above 50 per cent), Rs 20,000 per hectare for roughed up agriculture lands, Rs 25,000 per hectare for wiped out agriculture lands, Rs 25,000 each for big animals, Rs 5000 for small animals. Similarly, Rs 7,500 per hectare for paddy (rice) crop and Rs 5000 per hectare for other crops were to be given.
The Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Government, Sudhir Goyal, in a letter to all District Collectors, has directed to survey the losses till July 31 and submit the reports on August 10. The directive of the Chief Secretary conclusively proves that the figures of losses were incomplete and, enormously short of actual losses. A relief of Rs 4500 per hectare for crop damage (Above 50 per cent) has been announced in the Relief Package. However, the ground reality is totally contradictory: For example, a farmer spends Rs 1350 for purchasing a bag of 30 kg soybean seeds for an acre, Rs 1260 for DAP fertilizer. It means the farmer spends Rs 2560 for raw soybean crop material. Then other expenses include bullock-carts for farming, labour charges excluding expenses for day-to-day living and running a family. The net expenses for sowing soybean including seeds and fertilizers stand at Rs 6370 per acre. For cotton crop, a total expenditure stands at Rs 2000 per acre excluding other related expenditure. The relief by Government is well short of the actual expenditure.