VELLORE: Badly hit by the post-landfall fury of Cyclone Nivar, farmers have urged the state and central authorities to make an on-the-spot assessment of all the affected areas before determining the quantum of compensation for crop loss.
There has long been a mismatch between the claims of farmers and the enumeration of losses by the authorities of agriculture, horticulture and other related departments, farmers point out, adding that they are always on the receiving end.
With the cyclone triggering heavy downpours and squally winds, uprooting trees and submerging crops, they stress fair compensation matching the loss.
LC Mani, district president of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said, “We have submitted a memorandum to the concerned government authorities regarding determination of compensation. It should be fair enough to compensate the loss.”
He added, “The compensation should be fixed in the range of Rs 50,000 per acre for paddy, Rs 40,000 for plantain and Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 for other crops so that the farmers can make good the loss of crops raised through months of hard labour.”
The farmer leaders also urged the authorities to visit all the affected places and interact with the farmers.
“The teams of the state and Centre should visit all the affected areas and interact with the farmers to have a feel on the ground reality before fixing the compensation amount,” demanded ‘Paller’ K Raja, district president of Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam.
Various crops, including paddy, sugarcane, plantain, groundnut and papaya, were damaged in an estimated area of 918 hectares in Vellore district.
Katpadi block in Vellore bore the brunt of the fury of Nivar with crops in large swathes of land getting damaged while Gudiyatham had to suffer mainly due to water discharged from Mordhana reservoir and swelling rivers.
“Since water was gushing from the reservoir and rivers, most of the farmland located close to water bodies was submerged inflicting complete loss of crops,” noted K Saminathan, a Gudiyatham-based farmers leader.
He said the compensation to be fixed by the authorities must take into account the production cost and value of the crops.
In neighbouring Ranipet district, paddy was lost in 600 hectares, groundnut in 15 hectares and plantain in 150 hectares, officials said.
In Tiruvannamalai, the loss of paddy was initially estimated to be in an area of 2,210 hectares, groundnut in 719 hectares and black gram in 319 hectares.