Two central teams arrive too late to inspect crop damage
Mumbai: In a case of too little, too late, two central government teams have arrived in the state to undertake field-level inspections to assess the extent of loss caused by the pink bollworm pest on cotton crops. But no farm in the state has the pest-stricken crop standing now as it has been harvested or destroyed, and farms are being readied for the kharif season.
The six-member team was in Marathwada on Thursday and will go to Vidarbha on Friday and meet state government officials on Saturday before returning.
The state has asked the Centre for a compensation of Rs 3,484 crore for farmers under the national disaster relief fund. As per norms, a committee comes for field-level assessment before a decision on the sanction is taken.
A state agriculture department official said the delegation visited some villages in Aurangabad and Osmanabad districts, and met farmers. Farmer leaders claimed the visit did not make sense as it was too late to see any damaged crop.
Manik Kadam, head of the Marathwada unit of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna, said, “The pink bollworm attack was reported in November-December. The team has come now when the damaged crop has been removed.” Government officials said the visit was fruitful.