Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh is eagerly awaiting Central assistance worth nearly Rs 1,000 crore as compensation for damage to crops and infrastructure following the continuous rains and floods from August to October, 2020 and again due to Cyclone Nivar storm in November last. Two Central teams visited the affected areas to inspect the damage.
The state government prepared the estimates for the loss of crops and damage to infrastructure to provide interim relief in the form of input subsidy to the affected farmers and also to take up restoration of damaged infrastructure, worth Rs 6,386 crore as per the norms of National Disaster Response Fund. The state government asked for interim relief worth nearly Rs 1,000 from the Centre. The Central teams assured to extend nearly 80 per cent of the relief asked by AP.
State government sources say that when AP suffered crop damage due to natural calamities during kharif season in 2018-19, AP got drought relief worth nearly Rs 900 crore in December 2019. Similarly, when parts of AP suffered badly due Cyclone Titli in October 2018, the state received relief worth of nearly Rs 500 crore from the Centre for crop damages and loss at an early date.
Sources said several letters are being written from the Chief Minister’s Office to the Union ministry of home seeking release of Central assistance to AP to enable it provide relief to the affected farmers and to restore damaged infrastructure.
Despite no financial assistance being released, the state government has provided input subsidy to all the affected farmers to enable them to take up cultivation of crops for the next season.
A senior official from AP State Disaster Management Authority said, “Though it is not unusual for Central assistance to get delayed at times but there is a long delay this time given the enormity of the extent of damage and the assurances given by the Central teams to expedite release of funds to AP.”
Sources say that it has to be seen whether the Centre releases 80 or 50 per cent of the relief sought.