BENGALURU: After announcing that crop loss compensation will be directly deposited into farmers bank accounts within 24 hours after details are uploaded on the government website, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai directed the officials to take up the process on war-footing and complete it by December second week.
Sources in the government told TNIE that Bommai has set a deadline that compensation for the crop losses till November 21 should be given before the first week of December and the process of granting compensation for losses between November 21 and 30 should be completed by December second week. “The officials are working on a war-footing to complete all payments by second week of December,” sources said. Till November 20, Rs 130 crore was released and another Rs 100 crore was released in the last 10 days towards compensation for crop loss in this season, from July onwards.
Agriculture Department officials estimate that standing crop in around 7 lakh hectares was damaged, while the Revenue Department estimates it to be around 5 to 6 lakh hectares. The reconciliation process is underway as the Revenue Department is preparing a detailed memorandum to be submitted to the Centre seeking financial assistance, sources said.
The officials said Legislative Council elections will not have any impact on the process as they will be following set procedures and guidelines and money will be deposited directly into farmers’ accounts. Compensation is provided to farmers soon after the details are uploaded by the local officials, sources said.
When contacted, Tushar Girinath, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, said Rs 226.81 crore was deposited into 3.89 lakh farmers bank accounts by November 26.
Farmers, however, are not too happy with the compensation amount; Rs 6,800, Rs 13,500 and Rs 18000 per hectare for rainfed, irrigated/horticulture and perennial crops, respectively. Even the State Agriculture Price Commission, in its recent report to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, had stated that the compensation is not adequate and the state should recommend to the Centre to increase it to Rs 50,000 per hectare for agri/cash crops and Rs 1 lakh per hectare for multi-year crops.
“The officials have done the survey. But compensation we get will not even be sufficient for buying pesticides and fertilisers. The process will also take a lot of time” said Prabhakar Y, a farmer from Mulbagal. Prabhakar said tomato in his 7.5 acres farm was damaged in recent rains.
L Hanumaiah, a farmer from a village in Kolar taluk, said the officials are still receiving applications. “We have not got the compensation. The officials have not visited us and are asking us to give the details,” he said. The CM had visited Kolar, which was among the worst-hit districts, recently.