100% loan waiver for flood-hit farmers: Congress

Mumbai: The state unit of Congress sought a complete loan waiver for farmers affected by floods in Maharashtra and assistance of Rs 60,000 per hectare for crop damage.

Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan also demanded the setting up of a Krishna river authority, on the lines of the Kaveri river authority.

“This authority will be a high-powered body and will avoid taking decisions under political pressure. It will take decisions based only on technical grounds, keeping in mind the safety of the dam and water level,” Chavan said after the meeting.

It is to be noted that the floods in Kolhapur and Sangli are being mainly attributed to the delay in release of waters from the Almatti dam by Karnataka government.

They demanded that the government ensure fresh loans to farmers and provide them compensation for the death of livestock and house repair.

A delegation of Congress leaders met CM Devendra Fadnavis here to discuss the flood situation. The delegation comprised state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, leader of the opposition in the assembly Vijay Wadettiwar, working president Nitin Raut and other leaders.

“The financial aid announced by the state for loss of livestock is not sufficient. Therefore, the state should supply livestock to farmers. The handloom industry in Ichalkaranji has been devastated in this flood and there should be compensation for the loss of machinery and raw material.

Students too have lost educational material,” the delegation told the government. The expenses for medical treatment of the flood-affected people should also be borne by the state, said the delegation.

The Congress team also sought the announcement of drought in Beed, Osmanabad and Latur districts of Marathwada region. “There is no rain in these three districts. The farmers have lost their kharif crop and are witnessing acute water scarcity,” it said.