HYDERABAD: Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy on Thursday said the death of a farmer in a queue in Dubbak, where he was waiting for urea, had nothing to do with the shortage of the substance. “The distribution of urea was going on in urea. Simultaneously, a truck was unloading additional bags. There is no shortage of urea in Dubbak; in fact, there is no shortage anywhere else in the State,” he said.
The minister further said: “If anything happens to someone who is waiting in a queue for cinema tickets, will anyone blame the theatre management? The death of the farmer in Dubbak was an accident and not related to the shortage of the urea.”Niranjan Reddy, however, admitted that there was a delay for two weeks in bringing the required urea stock to the State. He said this was because of a delay in international shipments and also due to floods in Bihar and UP, which affected train services.
Due to the closure of a plant in Kakinada, the Centre allotted urea stocks imported from other countries to the state. “There is a delay for two weeks in the international shipment. This has affected the entire nation, not just Telangana,” he said.The minister also blamed the Centre’s direct benefit scheme (DBT), claiming that companies were not taking positions of stock in advance because of it. “Earlier, companies used take advance positions.
But, after the introduction of the DBT, the Centre is paying subsidy to fertiliser companies only after it gets the required proof that the farmer purchased the substance at a PoS. With the delay in getting the subsidy, the companies are not showing inclination to get advance stocks of the fertilisers,” Reddy explained.
The minister said that due to the sudden floods and delay in rains, all crops such as maize, cotton and paddy, which require urea have been sown simultaneously. This too, he said, was one of the reasons for the sudden demand for urea. “The total consumption of urea too has increased considerably this year. One of the reasons is that cropped area has increased by 20 per cent,” Reddy explained.
The minister informed that the Union Minister of Agriculture had held a meeting on Thursday on the supply of urea to AP, TS and Karnataka. “The shipments to other states too have been affected. We cannot blame anyone. There is no politics in this,” he said.
Arvind accuses govt of withholding urea from Nizamabad
D Arvind, the Nizamabad MP from Bharatiya Janata Party, claimed the State government had deliberately withheld urea in his constituency as he had defeated K Kavitha, the daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, in the Lok Sabha elections.
“The government is withholding urea because the people ignored KCR’s daughter and elected me,” he said and pointed out that the Centre had supplied enough stock but the TRS government could not distribute it to farmers in time. “KCR is confined to his farmhouse and is not bothered about the plight of the people.”Arvind also accused Assembly Speaker Pocharam Srinvas Reddy of coercing officials into diverting urea stocks to Kamareddy. “Nizamabad is bigger than Kamareddy. There is larger need for urea here.”