Monsoon may have brought some relief to the coastal districts but the farmers of western Odisha continue to suffer from a drought-like situation. Kharif cultivation is yet to pick up momentum in Kalahandi district where hundreds of farmers still await drought assistance and crop insurance.
Lok Sabha member Bhakta Das alleged government apathy for the plight of the farmers. Only drought relief and crop insurance within a week can wriggle the farmers out of the crisis. Failing to end the farmers’ plight would lead to bad kharif crop in the district, he cautioned while addressing mediapersons here on Monday.
He said that after the State Government decided to provide input assistance to farmers the district administration submitted a proposal of Rs 42 crore which would enable each farmer of the affected irrigated land get an input assistance of Rs 6,000 per hectare and Rs 3,000 for non-irrigated land.
However, the district has only received Rs 11.85 crore by March. The amount allocated is yet to be distributed as the final enumeration of farmers and land particulars have not been fully prepared. Reason: Out of the 13 tahsildar posts nine are vacant due to which a joint verification is conducted by the Revenue and Agriculture officials.
Das further alleged that despite the State Government declaring short and medium-term agriculture loans to long term, bankers in the district are not responding to the farmers’ pleas. The District Congress Committee has decided organise rallies and picketing from Wednesday in the district. The first rally will be taken out at Bhawanipatna, Das said.