The Haryana government has handed out cheques for Re.1, Rs.2 and Rs.3 to farmers in Mewat for compensation for crops damaged in hailstorms in January-February last year.

Here is a shocker from Haryana. The State Government has handed out cheques for as little as Re.1, Rs.2 and Rs.3 to farmers in neighbouring Mewat as compensation for crop damage last year.

The meagre compensation has caused resentment among farmers who will now have to shell out several hundred rupees to open accounts in banks to encash the cheques. Some of the farmers reportedly tore the cheques in protest.

The compensation has been granted for crops damaged in hailstorm in January-February last year. “The compensation has been decided based on a Revenue Department survey of affected villages. We have been entrusted with the task of distributing close to 3,000 cheques in 14 villages in Mewat. The compensation cheques have been handed over to more than 300 beneficiaries so far. Some of the cheques are for as little as Re.1, Rs.2, Rs.12 and Rs.50 and similar amounts,” said an Agriculture Department official at the block-level.

“This is cruel joke on farmers. What’s the point in offering cheques for such meagre amounts. Almost 90 per cent of the farmers lost all their produce in the hailstorm last year and this is what they are being offered as compensation. Even beggars will not accept it. Also, the cheques are drawn on Syndicate Bank and the beneficiaries will have to spend a few hundreds rupees on opening accounts to get the compensation money. Travelling to the bank itself will cost us Rs.20-25 one way. The least the government could have done was to issue cheques drawn on banks located in the village,” said Majeed, a villager from Punhana.

Asserting that that there were several discrepancies in the survey, Mr. Majeed, said: “Even those who sold their land holdings a decade ago figure among the beneficiaries.”

“Huge sums of money must have been spent in carrying out the survey to assess the loss caused due to the hailstorm and then to distribute the compensation amount. What is the point in carrying out the exercise if the affected farmers is to get a mere Rs.2 as compensation,” rued Salim, another villager.

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