SAMBALPUR: After staging relay hunger strike near the office of district Collector here for 40 days, farmers of the district, who have been demanding disbursal of crop insurance claims, on Sunday put off their agitation.
Farmer leader Kushdhwaja Choudhury said, “We had launched the relay hunger strike for 40 days. However, the Government did not pay attention to our concern all this while. It seems the Government is taking the farmer community for granted due to which we have postponed our agitation for the time being. We will plan the future course of action soon.”
Choudhary said, for intensifying their protest, the agitators will visit the villages across the district and appeal to more farmers to join them. The farmers have been protesting on the spot since October 22 over delay in disbursal of crop insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for losses incurred by them due to drought during kharif season last year.
During the 2018 kharif season, Reliance Insurance Company had insured crop in Sambalpur district. As per the general set of rules, the company had assured that they will disburse the insurance claims of farmers within 45 days of submission of crop cutting report and had collected money from them accordingly.
Though the farmers should have received the claim by March this year, the company has allegedly been delaying the processing of the insurance amount.
Around 12,000 farmers in Kuchinda sub-division have been affected by the company’s move. While farmers of only six gram panchayats have received their insurance claims so far, those from 49 gram panchayats are still uncertain over disbursal of their claim amount.
Earlier, the farmers had observed Kuchinda bandh and staged four-hour ‘rail roko’ at Bamra and Sagara railway station in Kuchinda sub-division. Besides, the farmers on several occasions since May have raised the issue of crop insurance through several minor agitations.
Chief District Agriculture Officer (CDAO) Dusasan Praharaj said the matter is under consideration, but it might take some time to resolve it as it is pending with the Central Government.