More than 4.5 lakh coconut trees damaged, say farmers

Central government’s team on Wednesday said that the severity of Phailin cyclone and floods was more in Srikakulam districts than in other areas while assuring that they would report the pathetic conditions of farmers who sought immediate help from both State and Union governments.

The team comprising A. Krishna Prasad (Ministry of Transport), PGS Rao (Finance department) and VK Bhatla (Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation) visited Isukalapalem of Somepeta mandal, Tapasukutti and Byreddipalli of Kaviti mandal and Komarti of Narasannapeta mandal to have first-hand information of the devastation in the district.

Farmers gathered in a huge number at every village seeking immediate relief. Coconut farmers said that more than 4.5 lakh trees were damaged by Phailin cyclone. The officials said that the compensation would be paid on hectare basis while following the norms strictly. They indicated that input subsidy would be given to paddy farmers who lost more than 50 per cent in floods and cyclone. But the farmers did not agree with the officials while urging them that the devastation was a big blow to marginalised sections.

They observed that paddy fields were in water for more than a week in Beela area of Sompeta mandal with the non-removal of silt for many areas. They asked Srikakulam Collector Saurabh Gaur and irrigation officials to prepare a detailed note for the repairs and other works to be taken up prevent such inundation in future.

The team which concluded its two-day tour will submit a detailed report to inter-ministerial group for finalizing the relief from the Centre. The State government has already estimated that around Rs.6,400 loss was occurred with both cyclone and floods in the entire State. The loss was around Rs.914 crore in Srikakulam district as per the official estimation.