Ruling, opposition members flay government ‘for not initiating relief measures’

Minister puts death toll at 20, promises relief

Members claim officials yet to assess damage

HYDERABAD: The Government found itself in a spot on Wednesday when both the Treasury and Opposition members flayed its ‘lackadaisical’ attitude in helping farmers badly affected by heavy rain on March 22 and 23.

The TDP, Congress, CPI and CPI (ML- New Democracy) members charged the Government with not initiating measures to help farmers whose standing crops and harvest had been damaged due to unseasonal rains.

Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao clarified that his statement was only based on preliminary enumeration and promised to furnish an update. He assured that the Government would not hesitate to provide the best possible relief package.

The Minister said the death roll had touched 20 and paddy, maize, sunflower, green gram, jowar, tobacco, groundnut and Bengal gram in 51,538 hectares had been damaged. Disagreeing with the statement, members lamented that officials were yet to assess crop damage. They were highly critical of the Government for making ‘tall’ promises after a similar havoc in February, but farmers were yet to receive any relief.

Chada Venkat Reddy (CPI) said farmers, particularly those who raised turmeric crop in Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts were hit hard. D. Narendra Kumar (TDP) pulled up the Government for announcing procurement of discoloured paddy by Markfed. M. Maheedhar Reddy (Congress) said farmers in Prakasam district were badly affected.