With heavy rains and floods ravaging several parts of the State, crop loss faced by farmers has become a point of discussion again. Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV), an NGO working on farmer’s issues, has faulted the government for not fulfilling lofty promises made to farmers about crop loss compensation due to natural calamities.
“In the past few years, the government of Telangana has not distributed any disaster compensation to farmers for crop loss despite the occurrence of heavy rains, floods, hailstorms or large scale pest and disease attack almost every year. The only exception was in 2018, when RSV filed a case in the High Court and the government was forced to distribute input subsidy, but that was only a meagre amount of ₹23 crore. For the unprecedented floods of 2020, no compensation was given despite High Court order in RSV case. Similarly, there was no compensation for heavy rains and floods in July and September 2021. For the hailstorm of January 2022, though Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy visited chilli and fruit farmers in Warangal and promised support, nothing was given. When there was extensive damage of chilli due to thrips pest attack during early 2022, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had promised disaster compensation in the Assembly but nothing has reached the farmers,” Vissa Kiran Kumar of RSV told The Hindu.
He added that the State government is not implementing the standard practice of farmer-wise enumeration of crop loss immediately after a disaster, so that even when the government receives disaster relief funds, it is not in a position to distribute to the farmers who suffered crop loss.
“Even in 2018, the enumeration was done only in a couple of districts like Adilabad and Khammam due to the initiative of the Collectors, and most of the crop compensation went to those districts. In the past two years, when RSV approached district collectors regarding enumeration, they said that there were no instructions from the Commissioner’s office, hence they have not initiated,” he said.
The RSV representative alleged that even though ₹188.23 crore was approved by the Centre for crop loss during the October 2020 floods, no farmer received compensation.