Chief Minister promises relief to flood-hit farmers

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Tuesday gave an assurance to the worried flood-affected farmers that all necessary steps would be taken to buy discoloured paddy and wet cotton, even while he faced protests at some places for cancelling his visit.

Mr. Kiran Reddy undertook a day-long whirlwind tour of the affected areas, partly on helicopter, followed by visits to villages in Khammam, West Godavari and East Godavari districts where he interacted with the distressed farmers. His visit was delayed by two hours as he had to stay put in Shamshabad airport owing to bad weather in Gannavaram airport.

After going through a photo exhibition of the havoc caused by cyclone ‘Nilam’ and then the low pressure at Gannavaram airport, he told media persons that a high powered committee would be constituted to find a permanent solution to prevent floods along Budameru, the cause of destruction on the outskirts of Vijayawada city. He said orders have been issued to officials to enumerate accurately the damage caused to crops and houses by heavy rains.

The Chief Minister then took off to Dhammapeta in Khammam district. Highlighting the point that Khammam was the worst affected next only to East Godavari, he promised all possible help to the farmers.

Having realised that discoloured paddy and wet cotton were two problems bothering the farmers across all the affected districts, he promised to take up the issue with the Centre, specifically, apart from Food Corporation of India and Cotton Corporation of India.

When he saw sand-cast maize field at Ganeshpadu near Dhammapeta, he told the farmers that the government would leave no stone unturned in coming to their rescue.

He disbursed ex gratia of Rs.1.50 lakh each to the families of two tribal women who lost their lives in a flood-related incident.

Before his next halt at Tadepalligudem, the Chief Minister had to face some rough weather en route, as victims of floods caused by faulty Nandamuru Aqueduct on Yarra Kalva protested the cancellation of his visit to Nandamuru village. A large number of farmers from Tadepalligudem and Nidadavole Assembly constituencies were waiting at the aquaduct for six hours to meet the Chief Minister to air their grievances, but were disappointed when he could not make it.

At Tuni in East Godavari district, Mr. Kiran Reddy asked opposition parties not to politicise natural calamities and instead come up with constructive suggestions that could help the government in extending best possible relief to the affected people. In a brief interaction with media persons at Visakhapatnam airport, he said standing crop on about eight lakh acres was damaged by the rains.