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Last Updated : Feb 13, 2018 12:04 PM IST | Source:

IMD seeks better farmer outreach post 1.25L hectare crop damage in Maharashtra

IMD has warned the farmers to put a hail net to cover the crop in the harvesting stage and keep the harvested crop in the dry place.

More than 1.25 lakh hectare of crops were damaged by the unseasonal hailstorm and heavy shower that hit the central parts of Maharashtra, Marathwada, and parts of Vidarbha on Sunday.

The severe hailstorm damaged the standing Rabi crops of wheat, jowar, onion, chickpea, grapes, and also the banana plantations, and vegetables, according to Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar.

The state government has directed officers to begin an assessment of the damage caused by the hailstorm to crops and livestock in every affected village before organising a meeting with the insurance companies.

The affected farmers will be awarded compensation based on the surveyors’ report, said the agriculture minister.

The India Meteorological Department issued a warning on February 9 that thunderstorm and hailstorm are likely to occur at isolated places in Marathwada.

Jalna in Marathwada was the worst affected district with more than 27,000 hectares of crops destroyed.

Question marks were raised on the efficiency of Pratyush, India’s fastest and first multi-petaflops computer installed at the cost of Rs 450 crore at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in January that is used for weather forecasting and climate monitoring in India.

The supercomputer is also used for forecasting thunderstorm, cyclone, lightning and other natural catastrophes.

The IMD had warned the farmers to put a hail net to cover the crop in the harvesting stage and keep the harvested crop in the dry place, said Dr N Chattopadhyay, Scientist at India Meteorological Department (IMD) to local newspaper Sakal.

He said they were, however, able to reach out only to 55 lakh farmers from 1.3 crore farmers in Maharashtra. The IMD has been repeatedly telling Maharashtra government to put in place a mechanism in order to reach out all farmers in the states.

While farmer union Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana yesterday demanded that state should grant Rs 50,000 per hectare as compensation to the affected farmer, failing which it threatened to launch an agitation.

(With input from PTI)
First Published on Feb 13, 2018 12:04 pm
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