MUMBAI: A day after unseasonal rains and hailstorm damaged cash crops across seven tehsil towns in Nashik district, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today visited the affected regions and said a separate financial package for the affected farmers.
Fadnavis visited Niphad, Dindori and Chandwad towns in Nashik district which were badly affected by the hailstorm.
Fadnavis assured farmers that a separate package for the rainfall-affected will be announced during the ongoing winter Assembly session in Nagpur.
"The farmers affected by the recent hailstorm will be provided a suitable compensation by the state government. We will announce a financial package in the ongoing Assembly session," he said.
Malegaon, Yeola, Nandgaon and Devla tehsils were other regions where farmers were severely hit.
"Our government stands by the farmers and extends complete support to them," Fadnavis said. According to reports from district headquarters, cash crops like wheat, grapes, pomegranate, onion and chillies nearing harvest, were extensively destroyed in the heavy rains in the district for the last two days.
Fadnavis said the state government will work with the meteorological department and develop technology to pre-empt such hailstorms in future.
"We will use technology to limit the losses done by nature. We will work with the meteorological department and try and develop a technology which will tell us if there is going to be a hailstorm at a particular place. That will help us limit losses. If required we will even take help from the Centre," he said.
Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackeray also visited the hailstorm-affected regions in Nashik district and appealed to farmers to not think about suicide.
"I will speak to Devendra Fadnavis and ensure that farmers are helped by the state government. But committing suicide will be of no help. What have the farmers, who already committed suicide, achieved?" Thackeray said.
The current hailstorm is a replay of the flash hailstorms which ruined crops in hundreds of acres in Nashik in March, saddling farmers with a cumulative debt running into hundreds of crores.
A string of hailstorms last December and in the first three months this year had damaged the well-grown rabi crop.
The hailstorm in March had wreaked havoc on horticulture and agriculture in Osmanabad district, which falls in the rain-shadow Marathwada region, triggering a wave of suicides by farmers.