KCR promises help, but drought-hit farmers of Telangana sceptical

Responding to their pleas, KCR assured the farmers that he would demand compensation for the damaged crops.
K Chandrasekhar Rao addresses the media at the Sircilla party office on Friday
K Chandrasekhar Rao addresses the media at the Sircilla party office on Friday Photo | Express

KARIMNAGAR: Farmers vented their grievances to BRS chief and former chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao during his visit to Makhdumpur village of Karimnagar rural mandal on Friday.

KCR inspected the withered paddy fields of several farmers and listened to their plights.

Banda Sampath, a farmer, told KCR about the damage to his standing crops due to lack of water in the final phase of growth. He said that he spent about Rs 1 lakh on three acres of crops, which he said were now at risk due to the dried-up Irrukulla Vagu. “There is no alternative source of water,” Sampath said.

Responding to their pleas, KCR assured the farmers that he would demand compensation for the damaged crops.

Farmers had descended on the village since early in the morning. Despite the scheduled arrival time of 10 am, Rao reached the fields at 1.30 pm and spent about 15 minutes before departing for Rajanna-Sircilla district.

Future tense

However, after the BRS chief left, a few farmers recalled that the former chief minister had inspected fields damaged due to hailstorms and had promised Rs 10,000 per acre.

They said that they were yet to receive that compensation. “He didn’t keep his promise as chief minister, what will he do now that he is the Leader of the Opposition,” Lingaiah, a farmer wondered.

Another farmer, not wishing to be named, said that the SRSP canal was the only source of water for the villages but it was diverted from the Rukmapur canal to Peddapalli district by the Peddapalli MLA Ch Vijaya Ramana Rao. “In Peddapalli, the fields are lush green but here, former minister Gangula Kamalakar has not bothered to fight for water,” a group of farmers said.

Interestingly, there were more BRS leaders and activists than farmers at the site. The BRS activists welcomed their party chief with “Jai KCR” slogans. Former MP B Vinod Kumar, MLA Gangula Kamalakar and other leaders tried to push away party activists to clear the way for KCR to reach the field from the road.

Under surveillance

Being election season, it was no surprise the the Election Commission of India made its presence felt. A van with CC camera was parked in a field where the harvest had been completed. When asked, the van occupants said: “It’s our duty to monitor all programmes being attended by political leaders and submit a report to the ECI.”

Pickpockets make merry

Pickpockets had a literal field day on Friday, dipping into the pockets of BRS leaders and activists who were busy jostling with each other to get into the same frame as KCR. However, a pickpocket was caught red-handed while trying to dip into the pocket of a BRS leader. He was handed over to the police.

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