Two dead as rains lash Maharashtra
At least two people were killed as rains accompanied by hailstorms lashed Maharashtra's Marathwada and Vidarbha regions over the past two days, officials said Tuesday.
Rains lashed parts of Solapur, Sangli, Aurangabad, Beed, Latur, Parbhani and Nagpur, damaging standing crops.
People in these regions were surprised over the rare phenomenon of hailstones, even as normal life was severely disrupted.
In some parts, road traffic was hit as hailstones of varying sizes accumulated on the roads and visibility dropped sharply.
Though there were no reports of damage to property, two people - a minor girl and an elderly man - were killed as large hailstones fell on Gherbi village in Solapur district Monday night.
Hundreds of birds, 50 cattle and at least 100 goats and sheep were killed in different parts of the state.
Large areas having crops of foodgrain, fruits, vegetables and cash crops were severely damaged.
Leader of Opposition in the assembly Eknath Khadse demanded a compensation of Rs.10,000 per hectare to farmers who suffered losses in the rains.
Deputy Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde demanded police reports on the farmers' losses within a day and announcement of compensation, failing which he said he would launch an agitation.
Last week, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had assured full help to farmers affected by rains in the state.
Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said farmers would be compensated and since it was a natural calamity, the question of the model code of conduct did not arise.
(Posted on 04-03-2014)