Staff Reporter

Panchayat-level panels to monitor process

Remaining paddy to be harvested on a war-footing

Panels to assess crop loss, suggest compensation

PATHANAMTHITTA: District Collector Raju Narayanaswamy has directed district-level authorities of the State Civil Supplies Corporation to take immediate steps to procure the entire lot of threshed paddy in the rain-ravaged Upper Kuttanad in the next three days.

He was addressing a meeting of paddy cultivators, farm workers and local body authorities in Upper Kuttanad at the taluk office in Thiruvalla on Monday.

To the response from the Civil Supplies Corporation officials that they had not yet received any official communication on the paddy procurement, Mr. Narayanaswamy said Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran’s statement in this regard during his visit to Upper Kuttanad on Sunday should be taken in all its seriousness to avoid any delay in procurement. He said harvesting of the remaining paddy should be carried out on a war-footing basis to avoid any further crop loss.

Panchayat-level panels

The meeting also decided to set up panchayat-level committees in Upper Kuttanad to monitor the paddy procurement process as well as other welfare measures initiated by the government from time to time. The committees will have the village officer and the agriculture officer concerned as its members.

Use of machines

Mr. Narayanaswamy said every possible effort should be made to use harvesting machines to overcome the shortage of farm workers and complete the harvesting in a time-bound manner.

He said farmers should consult the panchayat-level committees in case of any difficulty in getting harvesting machines or labour shortage.

He said the panchayat-level committees would also assess the extent of crop loss in their jurisdiction and submit a report to the government through the district authority. He said the committees could asses the damage and recommend compensation for the crop loss after conducting a proper evaluation.

The panchayat authorities of Kadapra, Peringara, Niranom, Nedumpram, Kuttoor, and Kaviyoor would head the committees in their jurisdiction and the government would extend all assistance to them in paddy procurement and crop-loss assessment, Mr. Narayanaswamy said. Pranab Jyotinath, Thiruvalla Sub-Collector; N. Mahesan, Adoor Revenue Divisional Officer; K.K. Chandran, Joint Director of Agriculture; and M.J. Jaisingh, tahsildar, attended the meeting.