Madurai

Collector warns legal action against insurance company

Farmers staging protest in front of Collector K Veera Raghava Rao and officials at a grievance day meeting in Ramanathapuram on Friday.

Farmers staging protest in front of Collector K Veera Raghava Rao and officials at a grievance day meeting in Ramanathapuram on Friday.   | Photo Credit: L_Balachandar

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Farmers protest against delay in payment of crop insurance

Ramanathapuram

Pandemonium broke out at the farmers’ grievance redressal meeting here on Friday as a group of farmers rushed to the podium and protested against delay in payment of crop insurance as Collector K Veera Raghava Rao warned the insurance company of legal action if it failed to pay the compensation within specified time.

The last meeting of this year turned out stormy as the farmers exchanged heated arguments with the officials for not clearing the pending crop insurance of ₹3.10 crore for farmers in nine villages for the year 2016-17 and delaying the payment for the year 2017-18.

After Mr Rao made initial remarks, a section of the farmers rushed towards the podium and protested vehemently for more than 10 minutes as the Collector and officials remained passive. At one stage, on hearing the commotion, a police team came to the auditorium and took seats but left after farmers protested.

The farmers were aghast that there was no sign of payment of crop insurance for the year 2017-18. Every year they took up cultivation and paid premiums after borrowing high interest loans but continued to face crop failures, they said. The district administration had secured crop insurance of about ₹530 crore for the year 2016-17.

This year too, they had taken up paddy cultivation on 1.20 lakh hectares hoping the monsoon would be good only to be let down by the Rain God, they said. More than 80% of the crops had already withered, they said. They were hoping to repay the loans if the crop insurance (2017-18) was given but there had been no sign of the payment for nearly a year, they said.

When Mr Lakshmanan, Assistant Manager, AICI, Chennai, who came to address the farmers, said crop insurance to farmers in nine villages could not be released due to discrepancies in the bank accounts, Mr Rao intervened and suggested a special camp could be held for sorting out the problems and asked the AICI to release the amount before the Pongal festival.

Similarly, Mr Rao gave one month ultimatum for the company to pay crop insurance for the year 2017-18, failing which, the district administration would take legal action on behalf of the farmers amid cheers.

A total of 1.42 lakh farmers had insured their crops in the year 2017-18 and suffered 100% loss, officials said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:45:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/collector-warns-legal-action-against-insurance-company/article25851524.ece

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