Flood Victim Farmers

Home in Maharashtra, farm in Karnataka leaves flood victims nowhere

  • Farmers living along the Maharashtra-Karnataka border with homes in one state and farmlands in the other were impacted by the 2019 floods in western Maharashtra and their situation was aggravated as their lives straddle two states.
  • With Karnataka offering better compensation for flood-affected villages, the farmers want the Maharashtra government to step up its compensation or incorporate their villages within Karnataka.
  • Climate change-affected monsoon pattern, unusual rainfall, lack of coordination of overflow of dams, encroachments and tampering of technically established flood lines are some of the reasons attributed to the 2019 floods in western Maharashtra.

Ganeshwadi is the last village of Shirol taluka in Kolhapur district on the border between Maharashtra and Karnataka. Many farmers from Ganeshwadi and other villages in Shirol straddle between the two states with a home in Maharashtra and agricultural land in Karnataka.

As monsoon hits the western Indian state, floods regularly follow in Shirol. There has been a flood in Shirol every year, with major floods in 1914, 1989 and 2005. In 2019, the floods were at a much larger scale than before. The taluka has 55 villages, among which 43 are 90 percent flood-affected while seven villages face the maximum impact, becoming islands during floods.

For the farmers here, the impact of the flood is further aggravated by state compensation policies that differ across the border. Karnataka offers better compensation for flood victims, they say, which these farmers, with agricultural land in Karnataka, cannot benefit from as they reside in Maharashtra.



Date Published:

20 February 2020

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