Jalna (Maharashtra), Feb 15 - Farmers in Maharashtra's Jalna who lost poultry birds in the recent hailstorm will now be required to submit autopsies of the killed cocks and hens to claim compensation from the state government.
Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and other leaders were apprised of the matter by farmers when they toured the areas hit by unseasonal rains and hailstorm which claimed four lives, besides killing many farm animals, birds, fowl and other wild creatures.
Taken aback by the demand, a delegation of Congress leaders called on Jalna Collector Shivaji Jondhale to discuss the issue.
What happened here is a natural disaster. We can understand if they seek post-mortem of larger animals (cattle, horses, buffaloes), but we are surprised the government is asking for autopsy of poultry birds (hens, cocks), Vikhe-Patil said here on Thursday.
More than 190,000 hectares of farmlands spread across more than 1,200 villages in 16 districts were badly hit in the sudden rains and hailstorm which lashed large parts of Marathwada, Vidarbha and surroundings for three days since last Sunday.
On Wednesday, the state government announced a compensation package for the affected farmers who lost cultivation of fruits, vegetables, pulses and cash crops in the inclement weather conditions that have gripped many parts of the state in the past one week.