Farmers from a village in Marathwada region on Friday filed a police complaint against the India Meteorological Department, accusing it of colluding with seed and pesticide manufacturers and inflating the monsoon forecast figures.
The complaint, filed at the Dindrud police station in Majalgaon tehsil of Beed district, says officials of the Pune and Colaba Met Department "colluded" with the manufacturers and caused loss of lakhs of rupees to farmers, who undertook sowing operations based on the forecast.
Gangabhishan Thaware, 54, a farmer from Anandgaon village in Beed district, who is among the complainants, told PTI that the IMD officials misled farmers saying that there would be ample rain during the kharif season in June.
"Farmers undertook sowing operations, based on the IMD forecast. But after a brief initial spell, there has been no rain and farmers are staring at a bleak future, with the sowing operations having gone waste," Thaware said.
"Farmers in our region completed pre-sowing operations before June, based on the IMD forecast which said there will be ample rains in June-July this year," the farmer said.
"Despite scanty initial rainfall, farmers in our village undertook sowing operations as the IMD forecast a good rainfall. They spent lakhs of rupees on seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and labourers wages. However, there has been no rain since and our sowing operations have gone waste," the farmer said.
According to Thaware, farmers have also written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, seeking his intervention.
"IMD officials and those in concerned seed and fertiliser companies, who colluded with each other and gave an inflated monsoon forecast are responsible for the plight of farmers and should be taken to task," the farmer said.
An official of the police station in Majalgaon said they have received the farmers' complaint and were looking into the matter.
No IMD official was available for comment.