Nagpur (Maharashtra), Feb 13 (IANS) Three days after they suffered huge crop losses following unseasonal rains and hailstorm in different parts of Maharashtra, angry farmers on Tuesday staged road blocks on the busy Nagpur-Amravati Highway demanding expeditious compensation.
Hundreds of farmers shouting slogans converged on the highway near Kondhali and other villages, stopped all vehicular movement and burnt tyres to vent their ire at the delays in getting aid.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Katol in Nagpur Ashish Ranjeet Deshmukh also joined the protestors when he had gone to survey the unseasonal rains and hailstorm affected areas in Amravati on Tuesday.
The protesting farmers, who disrupted traffic on the highway for a few hours, demanded that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should personally inspect the damage to crops in the natural calamity and make arrangements to disburse aid on top priority.
On his part, Deshmukh urged the local administration to immediately carry out preliminary assessment of the losses suffered by the farming community to enable them get compensation as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan, Nationalist Congress Party’s Leader of Opposition (Council) Dhananjay Munde and other senior leaders from both parties visited several of the worst-hit areas on Tuesday and interacted with the victims.
The rains and hailstones coupled with lightning since Sunday morning have claimed the lives of four persons so far in different parts of Maharashtra.
Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar on Monday said that in a total of 124,294 hectares, huge quantity of standing crops including fruits, vegetables and cereals, was virtually flattened due to rains and hailstones in 1,086 villages spread across 11 districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada.
The revenue and agriculture departments have already submitted a preliminary report of the losses to the state government from the affected districts — Beed, Jalna, Parbhani, Jalgaon, Buldhana, Amravati, Akola, Washim, Latur, Osmanabad and Hingoli.