Mysuru: Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande has asked the officials to be more humane while awarding compensation to farmers for crop loss.
He was speaking at a review meeting of Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar District Administrations at Mysuru ZP Hall here yesterday, in which Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankar Reddy too took part.
Taking exception to the quantum of relief being provided for property damage, Deshpande instructed the officials to ensure that the compensation was not nominal.
Expressing disappointment over some officers not addressing the problems of farmers affected by crop damage, the Minister, pointing out that the compensation amount which is being given is below the guidelines, said that farmers should be given the actual loss incurred due to rain.
The Minister instructed the officials to reassess the quantum of crop loss and property damage so that the compensation matched or reflected the actual loss incurred by the people.
Directing the officials to tour their respective regions extensively and submit weekly reports to the Government, he instructed the Deputy Commissioners of the three districts to hold video conferences twice a week in order to be up to date on information.
This was in response to the information provided by officials from Mandya who apprised the Minister that 326 houses were damaged in the district due to rains and the relief amount ranged from Rs.3,200 in case of house suffering 15 percent damage to Rs.5,200 in case of 30 percent damage.
When farmers complained that heavy rain had damaged power transformers in their villages and that CESC officials were not replacing or repairing the damaged transformers, the Revenue Minister directed the DCs to submit report every week and conduct video conference on rain damages twice a week.
Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankar Reddy, who also addressed the meeting, said that with regard to crop damages, the total loss estimated for Mysuru district was Rs.3.72 lakh while it was Rs.9.65 lakh for Chamarajanagar district.
However, there was no major crop loss reported from Mandya district, he added.
Pointing out that the officials and field staff of the Agriculture Department have been instructed to expand the coverage under Crop Insurance Scheme by encouraging more farmers to opt for it, the Minister, referring to crop loss suffered in Nanjangud and Mysuru taluks owing to Kabini flooding, said that crop damage assessment would be conducted to ensure timely release of compensation.
Maintaining that there was no scarcity of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, Shivashankar Reddy said that all these have been adequately stocked in warehouses.
Earlier, the Minister who interacted with the representatives of various Farmer Associations, promised to look into their demands, mainly to set up markets in all the districts.
The farmers had demanded opening of Siri Dhanya (Millets) unit in Mysuru too, followed by the re-introduction of Yeshasvini health card, remunerative price for agricultural produces, setting up of paddy purchase centres, restoration of soil testing centres and a proper mechanism to purchase rice from local farmers.
The farmers, who welcomed the Government plans to incorporate some of the farming practices in place at Israel, however, advised the Government to keep the interest of farmers in mind.
The farmers also urged the Government to release water from KRS Dam to the Lakes in the vicinity, rather than releasing water to Tamil Nadu.
Primary Education Minister N. Mahesh, MLAs A.H. Vishwanath, Ashwin Kumar, R. Narendra, Anil Chikkamadu, Dr. Yathindra Siddharamaiah, Suresh Gowda and C.S. Niranjan Kumar, MLCs K.T. Srikantegowda and Appaji Gowda, Mysuru ZP President Nayeema Sulthana and others were present.
Loan waiver to reflect in Budget
Shivashankar Reddy asserted that the announcement over farm loan waiver will definitely reflect in the forthcoming Budget of the JD(S)-Congress coalition Government.
He pointed out that the Government is working out the modalities in keeping with the demands of the farmers who have availed crop loans in the State.
Referring to the Crop Insurance Scheme, Reddy said as many as 14 lakh farmers had registered under Crop Insurance Scheme and the Government issued directions to service providers to pay the sum assured worth Rs.557 crore.
Rs. 5 crore for rain damages
Revenue Minister R.V. Deshpande has said that the Deputy Commissioners of every district have been asked to keep aside Rs.5 crore to award compensation for rain damages in their respective district.
Speaking to press persons after visiting Suttur Mutt and seeking the blessings of the Seer here yesterday, Deshpande said that funds were not a problem and the Government has already released Rs.5 crore for each district to take up emergency repair and relief works to start with.
He has directed the officials to assess the damage to crops, property, dwelling units, roads, electricity poles and power transformers, bridges etc., and submit a comprehensive report to the Government, he said.