The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organisation of various farmers’ outfits, urged the Centre to declare the floods and landslides in north Indian States, particularly in Himachal Pradesh, as a national calamity. The SKM said in a statement here on Friday that farmers should be adequately compensated for the loss they suffered due to the floods.
It also asked the farmers to join the relief works in various States.
The organisation pointed out that landslides, water logging and floods caused the death of more than 100 people till now. “Himachal Pradesh is the worst affected State and 80 people have already lost their lives there. Properties worth hundreds of crores of rupees and numerous cattle have been lost,” it said, adding that farmers are the most affected since they have lost crops and cattle. It also asked the Centre to fast-track rescue and relief work in Himachal and other affected regions.
The SKM demanded that the Centre and State government provide compensation of ₹10 lakh to the families who have died, ₹50,000 per acre for crop loss, ₹1 lakh per bovine cattle and ₹1 lakh per small ruminant. “SKM notes with dismay that it is unfortunate that there is no effective insurance coverage for agriculture and animal husbandry sector due to the collapse of the Prime Minister’s Fazal Bima Yojna in many of the affected states. The administration should ensure effective and immediate relief work,” it said.
The SKM condemned the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of Madhya Pradesh for allegedly “facilitating the timber mafia to plunder 15,000 acres of forest in the Burhanpur District”. It said that the authorities unleashed repression on tribal families for resisting the forest plunder and Madhuri, the leader of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, was prevented from entering Burhanpur district. “Such authoritarian and undemocratic measures are highly condemnable and SKM demands that the Chief Minister immediately withdraw the shameful order,” the SKM said.
SKM also opposed the amendments made in the Forest Conservation (Amendment) Bill, which is expected to be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament. “The purpose of the bill is facilitating corporate take over of the forest resources for profiteering and deny the rights of the local communities especially Adivasis over forest and forest resources,” the SKM alleged.