Sena seeks hike in financial aid for rain-hit farmers

Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut, Arvind Sawant, and others hold a protest near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue, demanding the government to declare unseasonal rains in Maharashtra as natural calamity, on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament.

The Shiv Sena has demanded an additional financial aid for the farmers whose crop got destroyed in unseasonal rains in Maharashtra.

When Maharashtra was under President's rule between November 12 and 23, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had announced a relief of Rs 8,000 per hectare up to two hectares for agricultural Kharif crops and Rs 18,000 per hectare up to two hectares for horticulture/perennial crops.

Earlier, the then BJP government had announced Rs 10,000 crore special assistance for the affected farmers.

On Monday, activists of the Sena organized morchas on government offices and handed over representations in nine talukas in Aurangabad district, which falls under the worst-hit Marathwada region.

In Aurangabad city, former Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire and district president Ambadas Danve met Divisional Commissioner Sunil Kendrekar and handed over a memorandum containing ten demands.

"Our demands include that insurance companies pay 25% of the insured sum to farmers in cases where they had lost crops on more than 50 percent of their fields," Danve said.

He alleged that sum being received by farmers in compensation is being diverted by banks towards their loan accounts.

"Banks are freezing accounts of farmers which is serious. The administration must act on it," he said, adding that the lists of farmers under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sanman Yojana should be error-free and made available at the taluka level.

The Sena had earlier demanded a compensation of Rs 25,000 per hectare for the Kharif (summer) crops destroyed due to the double whammy of the unseasonal rains and delayed retreat of south-west monsoon in October.

Farmers in Marathwada and North Maharashtra regions were worst affected by the unseasonal rains during October.

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