The Bombay High Court issued notice to the Maharashtra government seeking its response on the increasing number of farmer suicides in the state due to drought.
The court took suo moto cognisance of the issue following media reports stating over 600 farmers have committed suicide this year in the state.
“Tell us what steps you are taking and what is the ground level situation,” a bench of justices Naresh Patil and S B Shukre said.
The government pleader informed that counselling rounds are being held for farmers by psychiatrists. He said loans and electricity charges are waived, banks and cooperative societies have been told not to recover loans and water is released for drinking purposes.
The bench said the government must come up with long-term measures to address this socio-economic issue.
The court also sought to know about the condition of the family members of those farmers who have committed suicide.
“Visit them and take note if their grievances,” it said.
The bench appointed senior advocate Ashutosh Kumbhakoni as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter and posted the hearing on October 8.
Maharashtra government has declared 14,708 villages in the state as drought-hit.