Relief for Vidarbha

Published : Nov 16, 2007 00:00 IST

SINCE 2006, the Maharashtra government has been implementing its own relief package as well as the Prime Ministers Special Rehabilitation Package to arrest farmers suicides and the agrarian crisis in the Vidarbha region.

The State received Rs.3 crore from the Prime Ministers fund and Rs.3.60 crore from the Chief Ministers Relief Fund for providing assistance to suicide victims families. It has provided educational assistance worth Rs.108 lakh to 1,908 farmers and health assistance worth Rs.351 lakh to 5,240 farmers. Payment of agricultural loans worth Rs.1,407 crore to 9.33 lakh farmers has been rescheduled. Interest amounting to Rs.825 crore on these loans was waived. Credit flow was increased from Rs.880 crore to Rs.2,014 crore in 2006-07. Loans amounting to Rs.1,387 crore were disbursed to 5.28 lakh farmers up to September 30. Of the 17 major and medium irrigation projects proposed, 14 have been cleared. An additional irrigation potential for 40,421 hectares has been created.

The government has distributed 1.24 lakh quintals of jowar, wheat, gram safflower and maize seeds to 3.63 lakh farmers for the rabi (winter) season. A subsidy of Rs.13.29 crore was spent on seed distribution. For the kharif (summer) season of 2007, 3.22 lakh quintals of seed was distributed and a subsidy of Rs.38 crore was utilised. This has benefited 8.88 lakh people.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs.4.27 crore for implementing extension programmes, of which Rs.4.05 crore has been used to strengthen self-help groups. The State government has completed work on 2,609 of the proposed 3,999 check dams. The Centre has sanctioned a Rs.26-crore micro irrigation project. About 20,774 hectares have already been brought under the project at a cost of Rs.22.98 crore.

The Centre has sanctioned a horticulture project worth Rs.60.80 crore. The State has promoted horticulture by bringing 7,800 hectares of land under orange, amla and custard apple cultivation at a cost of Rs.19.56 crore.

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