BHOPAL: Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took a whirlwind tour of hailstormhit areas on Wednesday and promised quick relief to affected farmers.
Reaching out to farmers in distress, Chouhan said that the government will compensate farmers at Rs 30,000 per hectare for crop damaged in the recent unseasonal rain and hailstorm. As many as thirteen districts are badly affected, with wheat and gram suffering the most damage.
“Farmers should not worry about the loss. The government will provide compensation for damage caused by the calamity. The government is with farmers and will provide relief and crop insurance to help them tide over the crisis. Instructions have been issued to assess loss through survey and farmers will not face any kind of problem,” said Chouhan.
‘Jawans dying on border, farmers in fields’
Minister Lal Singh Arya was gheraoed by farmers in a hailstorm-hit village of Kolaras on Wednesday. “Seema par mar raha jawan, kheton main mar raha kisan (soldiers are dying on the border and farmers are dying in the fields),” the farmers shouted, demanding “action, and not promises”.
Loan recovery suspended for hailstorm relief
The government has instructed collectors to carry out immediate survey in areas where hailstorm damaged Rabi crops. The government also suspended recovery of loans and announced compensation and crop insurance benefit to help affected farmers.
On Wednesday, Chouhan held a meeting of senior officials at his residence to take stock of the loss. Soon after the meeting, he toured villages in Hoshangabad, Sehore and Dewas districts ravaged by untimely rain. In Nasarullaganj tehsil of Sehore district, the CM visited areas where Rabi crop was severely damaged.
Initial reports show hailstorm caused damage to wheat and gram crop in 621 villages of 13 districts though this may increase to 18 districts. Bhopal, Vidisha and Sehore districts suffered the maximum damage. Crops in Seoni, Chhindwara, Balaghat, Dewas and Hoshangabad districts suffered substantial damage, officials said. The government says 27,000 hectares are affected by hailstorm. Under the CM’s orders, teams comprising patwaris, gram sevaks, agriculture field staff and public representatives will participate in the survey process.
Assessing loss in villages of Hoshangabad district, the CM said the government would provide full compensation to farmers. He visited affected farms and met farmers from more than 10 villages, who had gathered to air their plight. Chouhan said survey teams will display assessment of crop loss in each panchayat and address every objection raised by farmers regarding relief process.
“The government has decided to compensate loss through crop insurance. Farmers will get an immediate relief of Rs 30,000 per hectare and the government has suspended recovery of interest on loan.
The government will pay the interest and provide loan at zero% for fertiliser and seeds,” the CM said, adding that farmers will also get benefit under Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah scheme for marriage of women.