ANDHRA PRADESH

Crop loss: administration compensating farmers

Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: Standing crops in over 50,440 acres have been damaged in the rain that lashed the district recently, while floods in the Bhima and the Krishna this year have damaged crops in 33,000 acres in the district.

Official sources said here on Monday that the highest loss of standing crops on account of rain has been reported in Sedam taluk (25,840 acres) followed by 11,346 acres in Jewargi taluk and 10,863 acres in Chitapur taluk. With regard to damage caused by the floods, they said Afzalpur taluk is the worst hit with 9,931 acres bearing the brunt of nature's fury followed by 6,128 acres in Shahapur taluk and 3,413 acres in Jewargi.

Deputy Commissioner Anjum Parvez said the district administration has disbursed compensation totalling Rs. 3.43 crores among farmers who suffered crop losses owing to the floods in the Bhima and the Krishna, while compensation worth Rs. 4.07 crores will be paid to farmers who lost their crops in the rain.

Meanwhile, the State Government's plea to the Union Government to relax norms to facilitate payment of compensation for crop losses under the Natural Calamity Relief Fund, is under consideration. During his recent visit to New Delhi, Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, who led a delegation of Opposition leaders to present a memorandum seeking additional funds for the State, broached the issue of relaxing norms and allowing the State Government to pay compensation to farmers who have lost their crops.

Sources said the Prime Minister, who gave a patient hearing to the plea, told Mr. Singh that a final decision will be taken in this regard shortly. The State Government, without waiting for the Union Government's clearance, has started disbursing compensation to farmers by doubling the amount from Rs. 400 a hectare to Rs. 800 by pooling the excess amount from its own sources.

Private property

Rain has also caused extensive damage to private property, particularly to houses in the district. As many as 8,130 houses collapsed in the rain, and the district administration has disbursed compensation totalling Rs. 49.25 lakhs to the affected families. Apart from this, the district administration has also disbursed Rs. 16 lakhs as compensation at the rate of Rs. 50,000 each to families who have lost their near and dear ones in the rain and the floods. As many as 36 people have died in rain-related incidents or in the floods, and compensation has been paid with respect to 32 deaths so far.

Rain also caused extensive damage to roads maintained by the zilla panchayat and the Public Works Department in the district. The estimated length of roads maintained by the zilla panchayat damaged in the rain and the floods is said to be 720.2 km while 177 km of roads maintained by the PWD have also been damaged.

Roads

Repairing the roads is estimated to cost Rs. 23.34 crores, and Rs. 3.51 crores has been spent in this regard so far. Also, 25 hostels maintained by the Social Welfare Department and 31 hostels maintained by the Backward Classes and Minorities Department Corporation have suffered damages in the rain. A sum of Rs. 1.02 crore and Rs. 1.08 crore has been sanctioned for the repair works on these hostels, respectively.

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