A public interest writ petition has been filed in the HC for a direction to authorities concerned to disburse the drought relief to affected farmers in 8 districts after removing the anomalies and mistakes in GO No. 48 dated February 13 this year and without including the crop insurance amount in the relief amount.
The first bench of Acting Chief Justice RK Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, before which the PIL from AP Kalyanasundaram of Nagapattinam district came up for hearing on Friday, ordered notice to the Chief Secretary, Collectors of Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Ariyalur, Tiruchy, Cuddalore, Pudukottai and Karur, and agricultural authorities returnable in two weeks.
According to the petitioner, the GO had been passed fixing the amount, number of areas and farmers based on a high level committee’s report. The report itself was anomalous, as the committee did not consist of experts in the field of agriculture or science. The panel had not appreciated the ground level reality and had come to the conclusion that crop loss was only 50 per cent and the affected areas was 3.61 acres, which was incorrect. In its affidavit filed before the SC in Cauvery case, the TN government had stated that 5.97 lakh acres were affected due to drought. There were also contradictions in the statements made by the CM on the floor of the Assembly and the Agriculture Minister with regard to affected areas and farmers, the petitioner contended.