He said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked if agriculture graduates and educated youths can be roped in to carry out panchnamas or damage assessments of crops affected by hailstorms and unseasonal rains in various regions of the state
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The Maharashtra government will have to make alternative arrangements to assess crop damage as state employees are not calling off the ongoing strike, Agriculture Minister Abdul Sattar said on Saturday.
He said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked if agriculture graduates and educated youths can be roped in to carry out panchnamas or damage assessments of crops affected by hailstorms and unseasonal rains in various regions of the state.
Lakhs of employees of the Maharashtra government have been on strike since March 14 demanding the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme. The stir has affected various services even as the state government has announced a committee to look into the OPS and appealed to call off the stir.
"Farmers are in distress due to damage caused to crops by unseasonal rains in the state. The process of panchnamas is affected as agriculture assistants, gram sevaks, and talathis are on strike. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde asked me if B.Sc agriculture graduates and other educated youths can do panchnamas if there is no availability of staff," Sattar said at an event organised by the agriculture department.
He said the government will have to make alternative arrangements if employees continue their agitation.
Sattar said the chief minister and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis have ordered that not a single affected farmer in the state should be deprived of help.
"Crop panchnamas are being conducted at some places but in other places, the unavailability of staff is causing problems," the minister said.
He said the state government is positive about the demands of the striking employees and a decision will be taken after assessment, but farmers should not be held hostage in this hour of crisis.
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