Monday, November 25, 2013

State gives CM’s wife 3,000 for ‘loss of crop’

Mumbai: The state’s crisishit relief and rehabilitation department led by senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam has paid a compensation of Rs 3,000 to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s wife, Satwasheela, for loss of crop in the wake of the worst ever drought in western Maharashtra in 2011-12.

“The survey on loss of crop owing to drought was completed recently. As per the recommendations of a committee headed by the collector, we have paid Rs 3,000 to Mrs Chavan, as well as her mother’s brother. Mrs Chavan is among the 4,000-odd farmers who have been paid the compensation. The amount has been credited in the accounts of the farmers,’’ a high-ranking bureaucrat told TOI on Sunday.

According to the bureaucrat, Chavan’s wife owns 2.5 hectares of agriculture land in Bedag village in Sangli. More than 10,000 villages involving 4,000 farmers were affected by the drought. “The relief and rehabilitation department has so far disbursed Rs 1.38 crore; the compensation depends on whether the land is irrigated or not,’’ he said.

The bureaucrat made it clear that Satwasheela Chavan had never made an application, but the amount was credited in her account with the district central cooperative bank as a routine procedure.

Min Kadam accused of bias
Mumbai: The state’s relief and rehabilitation department has credited Rs 3,000 into the account of the ‘droughthit’ wife of the CM. Elaborating on the procedure, the bureaucrat said that when the farmers complained that owing to drought there was an adverse impact on the crops, officials conducted an extensive survey of the entire district as per the laid down procedure. After they confirmed that there was indeed a loss of crop and the yield was less than 50%, a general policy decision was taken to grant financial aid to the aggrieved farmers.

While minister Patangrao Kadam has been generous in granting compensation to Sangli farmers, his department paid a meagre compensation of Rs 70 to a farmer in Selu tehsil of the suicide-prone Wardha in Vidarbha. “We feel when it comes to extending financial aid for farmers, the policy should be impartial. But it seems Kadam is partial and has a soft corner for farmers in western Maharashtra,’’ Kishore Tiwari, a farmers’ leader, said. — Prafulla Marpakwar
Prafulla Marpakwar TNN

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