BARGARH : Farmers of Bargarh’s Padampur sub-division on Monday locked the gates of the offices of Sub-Collector, block development officer (BDO), tehsil and sub-treasury protesting the delay in disbursement of insurance money under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for crop loss during the last kharif season.
Hundreds of agitators under the banner of Rajbodasambar Krushak Sangathan also staged dharna in front of the Sub-Collector’s office and later locked the main gate of Padampur cooperative bank. The agitation was part of the ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ announced by the farmers’ outfit earlier.
The agitating farmers said in the last Kharif season, their crop was insured by HDFC Ergo. Over 90,000 farmers had applied for insurance under PMFBY and also paid the premium for around 2 lakh hectare (ha) of farmland through online mode. However, due to deficit rainfall in the district, crops over around 72,000 ha were affected. The farmers were expecting to get the insurance money for the crop loss. But the insurance company, despite receiving the premium, has rejected around 63,000 applications, leaving the farmers in a state of despair, alleged the agitators.
Farmer leader Ramesh Mohapatra said, “The insurance company has rejected the crop loss claims without any concrete reason. It is least bothered about the losses incurred by farmers. As per provision, all applications should be approved as farmers have paid the full premium and are entitled to get their insurance money. We demand disbursement of money to farmers at the earliest.”
Mohapatra further said the farmers will intensify the protest if their demand is not fulfilled soon.
Later in the day, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Bargarh Mirdha Toppo held discussion with the agitating farmers. “We have initiated talks with the farmers and are trying to convince them to withdraw the agitation,” said Toppo. Till reports last came in, the farmers were continuing their agitation.