ANDHRA PRADESH

No relief steps in drought-hit mandals: Rythu Sangam

Correspondent

Protest demonstrations planned in front of tehsildar offices



Government urged to declare the entire district drought-hit

Farmers incur heavy loss due to drought, say sangam leaders



VIZIANAGARAM: The Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangam has criticised the government for not taking up relief measures in seven mandals that have been declared drought- hit.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, sangam district secretary M. Suryanarayana and joint secretary R. China Appala Naidu said that the government declared only seven mandals drought-affected on the basis of deficit rainfall, but it had not taken into consideration the fall in the normal crop area in other mandals.

The district administration had recommended 19 more mandals for inclusion in the drought-hit list after considering over 40 per cent drop in normal crop area, Mr. Suryanayarana said. In fact, the entire district must be declared drought-affected because 50 per cent of crops in places where the sowing operations completed withered, he said. Officials who fixed the kharif credit plan at Rs. 470 crore had released Rs. 270 crore. Of the released amount, 30 per cent was adjusted in records, he alleged.

Heavy loss

As a result, farmers and tenant farmers depended on moneylenders and micro finance agencies. Owing to drought conditions they incurred severe loss, he said.

Yet, the government had not taken up relief measures in the drought-hit mandals.

Though the kharif season ended, the Agriculture Department had either announced rabi action plan or released input subsidy and other facilities to farmers.

Mr. Suryanarayana said that the sangam planned protest demonstrations in front of all tehsildar offices on October 5 demanding waiver of loans, sanction of loans afresh, seed for raising alternative crops in the rabi season.