MUMBAI: Concerned over the recent farmer suicides, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said his government is working round-the-clock to mitigate their hardships and has sought a Rs 4,500 crore financial package from the Centre to provide them necessary assistance.
The Chief Minister said he was saddened by reports of farmers committing suicide because of bad crop and drought and appealed to the farmers not to lose heart and assured them that his government was doing all that is possible to help them.
The drought situation is severe and decisions like waiving electricity bills, fees waiver of 10th and 12th class students in drought-hit areas, restructuring of crop loan and stay on recovery of loan have already been taken, Fadnavis said in a statement issued here.
He said that his government was constantly monitoring the situation and firmly stood by the farmers in the grave situation.
A 75-year-old farmer, distressed over crop failure, had allegedly ended his life at a village in Akola district last week.
Besides, seven suicides by debt-ridden farmers were reported in the past few days from Vidarbha, which was toured by Fadnavis last week, according to Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJS), an NGO which has been tracking such deaths.
With these deaths, the number of farmer suicides in the cotton belt, facing water scarcity and agrarian crisis, has gone up to 1,022 till now this year, Samiti's president Kishore Tiwari recently claimed.
A delegation of farmers led by Tiwari had met Fadnavis in Amravati last week and presented a list of demands.