The state government yesterday swung into action after the unseasonal hailstorm and heavy showers that lashed some parts of Maharashtra early morning yesterday, claiming a life and damaging various crops.
The state Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar has directed senior officials of the district administration to complete 'panchanamas' of the fields. Speaking to reporters, Fundkar said, “The crops are badly affected by the unseasonal rains and hailstorm. I have already issued the orders to district collectors and tehsildars. They have been asked to complete the 'panchanamas' of the fields and assess the damage. A meeting of the insurance companies has been convened today, in which a decision regarding compensation will be taken.”
Minister for Co-operation and Marketing Subhash Deshmukh said, “The government will help the farmers in this hour of natural calamity. The government will take a decision on paying compensation to the kin of the deceased farmer.”According to a senior Mantralaya official, the hailstorm started around 7.30 am across the widespread region of Marathawada and parts of North Maharashtra. The hailstorm and rains continued for half an hour. Dhule, Nandurbar, Beed, Jalna and Aurangabad were the worst affected districts which witnessed the untimely spell of rain and hailstorm.
“A 70-year-old farmer died in Jalna district after he was injured in the hailstorm. The farmer was going to his farm early in the morning when he was caught in the heavy spell of the hailstorm. He sustained severe injuries and died. Besides, two women were injured in the hailstorm in Washim and Aurangabad districts,” the official added further.
According to report received in Mantralaya, the hailstorm and unseasonal rains virtually destroyed the crops on a large scale. The hailstorm has also destroyed standing crops of wheat, gram, orange, banana, jawar and chickpea. Nearly 30 minutes of a hailstorm in part of Mantha tehsil in Jalna transformed the fields to white and they appeared like snow-covered plains of Jammu & Kashmir.