Assessment by high-level committee based on interactions with farmers
A Rs.1,755-crore package of drought relief measures was unveiled on Friday for non-Cauvery delta districts in the State.
Of this package, six components were meant for about 17.9 lakh farmers, who had suffered over 50 per cent crop loss. The farmers, for a variety of crops, would receive a total compensation of Rs. 835.21 crore.
Making an announcement in the Assembly, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said the package was based on the assessment made by a high-level committee headed by Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam after visiting 18 districts and interacting with representatives of farmers and district officials, apart from reports from the district Collectors.
A sum of Rs. 312.89 crore had been earmarked for giving compensation of Rs. 5,000 per acre to 6,25,481 farmers who raised paddy over 6,25,786 acres. As per the Central norms on disaster relief, even small and marginal paddy farmers, experiencing more than 50 per cent crop loss, were entitled only to Rs. 2,429 per acre. Insurance companies would settle claims of those farmers who had insured their crops.
Long term crops
In the case of long-term and non-mulberry crops and paddy raised on irrigated lands, about 1,01,802 farmers would receive Rs. 4,000 per acre.
A total of Rs. 50.15 crore had been set apart, covering 1,25,386 acres.
Compensation of Rs.3,000 per acre
A compensation of Rs. 3,000 per acre would be given to 10, 05,549 farmers who raised similar crops on un-irrigated lands of 14, 14,126 acres.
This would cost Rs. 424.24 crore to the government.
As for long term crops including coconut, 50,908 farmers would be given Rs. 4,000 per acre.
A provision of Rs. 43.35 crore had been made, covering 1, 08,383 acres.
As regards 10,602 farmers who raised mulberry over 15,262 acres, a sum of Rs. 3,000 per acre would be given, totalling Rs. 4.58 crore.
In addition, to tackle the problem of fodder shortage, projects to the tune of Rs. 24.65 crore would be taken up through the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries in the non-delta districts. Of the total amount, Rs. 18.4 crore was meant for dry fodder and Rs. 6.25 crore – green fodder.
To tide over the shortage of drinking water, works for Rs. 145 crore would be executed initially. Of this amount, a sum of Rs. 40 crore each was provided for municipalities and villages, besides Rs. 20 crore for town panchayats. Chennai Metrowater would implement works for Rs. 25 crore and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board – Rs. 20 crore. The works regarding municipalities and town panchayats would be carried out through the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply and those concerning the villages through the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department.
Fifty thousand farm ponds would be dug in the non-delta districts at a cost of Rs. 750 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.