Mumbai: The Maharashtra government will seek a financial assistance of Rs200 crore from the centre to compensate farmers whose crops were damaged by hailstorm last week.

State agriculture minister Pandurang Phundkar told reporters on Wednesday that according to preliminary surveys, crops over 190,000 hectares were damaged in Vidarbha, Marathwada and North Maharashtra due to unseasonal rains accompanied by hailstorms.

Reports of final surveys were expected in the next two days, Phundkar said, adding farmers would be compensated as per the criteria fixed by the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). Farmers who have not opted for the crop insurance scheme would also be compensated as per the NDRF criteria of maximum Rs18,000 per hectare, he said.

The final surveys are likely to reveal more extensive damage to the crops because the preliminary assessment covered only those 16 districts which were hit by the rains and hailstorm on 10 and 11 February, Phundkar said. Another five districts in Vidarbha came under the impact of hailstorm on 12 February and the final surveys would cover these districts, he added.

According to preliminary surveys, Buldhana district in Vidarbha suffered the maximum damage with standing crops over 32,700 hectares ruined. Jalna district in Marathwada and Amravati in Vidarbha suffered extensive damage to crops over 32,000 hectares and 26,598 hectares, respectively.

Compensation for horticulture farmers would range from Rs40,000 per hectare for banana, Rs36,700 for mango, Rs23,300 for orange and sweet lemon, and Rs20,000 for bitter lemon.

For dry-land farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada, the compensation would range from Rs13,500 to Rs6,800 per hectare for the crops of jowar, maize, pulse, chana, wheat, and sunflower.

In Vidarbha, districts of Buldhana, Amravati, Akola, Washim, Nagpur, Chandrapur and Wardha, were affected by the unseasonal rains and hailstorm. The calamity also impacted districts of Nanded, Latur, Hingoli, Osmanabad, Jalna, Parbhani and Beed in Marathwada, and Jalgaon in North Maharashtra.

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