Chouhan takes relief measures for rain-hit farmers in MP

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Bhopal, Feb 28: Describing the damage to crops due to rain and hailstorm in Madhya Pradesh as a "national calamity," Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday announced a slew of relief measures for affected farmers in the state.

"A total of 9,800 villages spread across 49 out of the total 51 districts in the state have been affected by rains and hailstorm which is like a national calamity," the Chief Minister told reporters after holding an emergency meeting with top officials to review the situation.

Without waiting for Central assistance for which the state government will submit a memorandum shortly, Chouhan said his government has decided to keep aside nearly Rs 2,000 crore by curtailing demands of other departments in the vote on account to be passed during the coming assembly session.

"We have also set up a committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), M M Upadhyaya to monitor the situation by taking feedback from the districts on the issue of damage to crops," Chouhan said.

The Chief Minister said that he has also directed Commissioners/Collectors to immediately conduct surveys of the damaged crops and start distributing compensation.

"For any laxity in the survey, district collectors would be held directly responsible," Chouhan warned. The government has also decided to treat 50 per cent or more damage as 100 per cent and directed the officials to distribute compensations accordingly.

The government also decided to provide enhanced compensation for damage to fruit-bearing trees, flowers, vegetables.

The Chief Minister said that after assessing the exact damage the government would submit a memorandum to the Centre for adequate assistance to the affected farmers and urged the two Union Ministers - Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia - to rise above politics and join hands with the state government in this hour of crisis in the interest of farmers.

Yesterday, Chouhan visited hailstorm-affected Rehti, Nasrullahganj in Ashta district besides Chakaldi, Kothar Pipaliya, Kankariya, Harmau, Suned, Ladkui, Bhadakui, Gularpura and Kanyakhedi areas in Sehore district.

He also said that wheat and price at Rs one per kg will be provided for eight months to farmers who have suffered over 50 per cent crop-loss due to rail and hailstorm.


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