Agar-Malwa/Indore: Madhya Pradesh is witnessing excessive rainfall this monsoon, and it has created flood-like situation in parts of the state and massive major crop loss.
Major rivers of the state including Narmada, Chambal and Ken have been flowing above the danger mark. The Meteorological Department of the state has issued a red alert in 17 districts including Sagar and some districts of Vindhya region.
The incessant downpour in the state has led to the large-scale crop loss and massive infrastructural damage across the state. Besides, 220 lives have been lost in the deluge.
The state government has estimated agriculture and non-agriculture losses to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore. “These are very initial estimates and the figures are likely to go up,” Chief Secretary SR Mohanty told the press in Indore on Monday.
A central survey team to access the initial damage and crop loss is expected to visit the state on September 19 and 20, the chief secretary said, adding that the state government had almost completed the initial estimates of losses and they would be sent to the centre by September 17.
However, farmers are extremely stressed with the losses and are worried regarding the repayment of loans. In Sahab Nagar of Agar Malwa district, agriculture fields of 90 farming families have turned into ponds, totally ruining the crop.
Suresh Joshi, a farmer who comes from a 22-member family and owns 40 acres of land is totally hopeless now, as his soybean crop has been totally damaged. The family has a debt of Rs 5 lakh and had spent Rs 1.80 lakh for the sowing of the crop.
In a nearby field spread over nine acres, Rajesh had also sown soybean crop, which has been totally damaged by the floodwater.
Rajesh has taken a loan of Rs 2 lakh and was planning to pay it back after selling his produce. He now hopes that the government will provide compensation and insurance money at the earliest.
Just like Rajesh, thousands of farmers across the district and the state are facing a similar fate and complain that though the crop insurance premium is deducted while taking agriculture loan, proper insurance money is not received after the damage.
Similar crises have been reported in other districts of Malwa-Nimar region such as Mandsaur, Neemuch, Dhar, Barwani, Khargone.
In Barwani district, hundreds of villages alongside the Narmada have submerged.
Due to excessive downpour, farmers have no place left to store their grains. In Barwani district, a few farmers have kept their maize produce on highways.
The district collector of Agar Malwa, Sanjay Kumar, said that the district has received almost double the expected rainfall and this has caused severe damage to the crops and infrastructure. He also said that initial estimates of crop loss are being made and as soon as there is a dry spell, field to field surveys would be taken up. The present weather does not permit such a field survey, he said. Kumar assured that none of the farmers with losses will be left out of the compensation process.
Mohanty has said that the final estimate on damage and crop loss would be completed by September 23 or 24, well in time for the second assessment visit of the central team expected by the month end. The central government is expected to release relief package for the state on basis of these visits and assessments.
The chief secretary also quelled apprehensions about the possible danger to the Gandhi Sagar Dam in Mandsaur district, which received huge surge of water from the Chambal river on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. He said that the dam was totally safe and the water level that had gone six feet over the full reservoir level (FRL) was coming down slowly.
36 districts affected
Of the 52 districts in state, 36 have been impacted by floods, leading to around 220 deaths in the season, Principal Secretary of Revenue and Relief Department, Manish Rastogi said, “Around 45,000 persons have been evacuated from flood-hit areas and shifted to relief camps in the past 45 days. Currently, about 18,000 persons are in the relief camps set up in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Bhind, Morena and Agar Malwa districts that were pounded by extremely heavy showers during the past three days.”
33% excess rainfall
Madhya Pradesh received 33% excess rain from June 1 to September 16. At least seven districts, all in western and central MP, received over 80% excess rainfall. Mandsaur has received as much as 160% excess rain till date, 127% in Agar-Malwa, 121% in Neemuch while Bhopal has received 81% excess rain.
On the other hand, seven districts, mostly in Vindhya region of the state, have received less than normal rainfall, according to the MET office.
(With inputs from Jaffer Multani)