ALAPPUZHA: Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Tuesday that the government will decide on the matter to hike the amount to be paid for the farmers as compensation for ducks to be culled to prevent the spread of avian flu in Kuttanad.
The final decision will be taken at the Cabinet meeting to be held on Wednesday.
The minister was addressing media after a meeting with the peoples’ representatives and farmers at the Collectorate Conference Hall in Alappuzha on Tuesday.
There are plans to provide Rs 200 as damages for the ducks aged over 60 days instead of Rs 150; and Rs 100 instead of Rs 75 for those aged below 60 days.
Meanwhile, the massive culling of ducks that was supposed to begin on Tuesday was temporarily stopped following widespread protests from farmers. The Home Minister said the officials will begin culling of ducks in affected areas on Wednesday. The culling will be carried out in 1 km radius of Malayilthodu paddy field in Purakkad panchayat, Bhagavathypadam in Mullackal village in Alappuzha municipality, Ward 3 in Nedumudi panchayat and Mukkayil paddy field in Ambalappuzha North panchayat.
District Collector N Padmakumar said around 60 veterinary kits were supplied to doctors and officials entrusted for culling activity. Over 100 strip preventive medicines were also distributed.
The government has given permission to all panchayats to utilise Rs 50,000 from their LSG fund to take urgent measures.
“Ducks and poultry from the affected region are banned from transporting to another areas.
“The culled and dead birds should be buried only in a scientific manner under the strict supervision of government officials,” the Minister said.
Chennithala said the government is committed to protecting the interests of the farmers who have spent lakhs of rupees for duck rearing. He also urged the media to be logical while reporting.
Dearth of Medicines
The shortage of preventive medicines to be taken by the officials was also another reason to put off culling for the day. Ramesh has ordered for more supply of medicines from Andhra Pradesh and there was no need for panic.