Hailstorm hit farmers waiting for compensation

HYDERABAD: Farmers across the state are eagerly waiting for compensation after their crop was severely damaged by hailstorms.

Paddy, maize, chilli, mango and other crops were damaged in around 2.28 lakh across the state. Although untimely rains lashed several districts from March 17 to 21, the farmers in undivided Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam district incurred huge losses.

To get first-hand information on the extent of crop damages, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao had visited hailstorm-hit villages in integrated Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts on March 23 and announced Rs 10,000 per acre as compensation. He assured to pay the compensation amount soon. However, the same is yet to be honoured leaving the farmers in languish.

Agriculture department officials carried out field surveys and identified crops in 1.51 lakh acres only. In view of changed norms, the officials considered a minimum 33 per cent damage as the only eligibility criteria to receive compensation. As a result, instead of 2.28 lakh acres, the officials considered only 1.51 lakh acres, implying that only 1,30,988 farmers will stand eligible.

Reportedly, chilli crop was damaged considerably in the united Khammam district but it was not taken into consideration for the compensation. The tenant farmers suffered heavily as they had paid in advance to the land owners apart from investing on cultivation.

As per preliminary reports, 29,465 acres of crops in undivided Karimnagar district, 69,000 acres in Warangal and 31,000 acres in Khammam district crops were damaged. However, following the revised norms post-survey, the district collectors submitted crop damages’ report for only 1.51 lakh acres.

According to official sources, maize in 1,29,446 acres, paddy in 72,709 acres, mango in 8,865 acres and other crops in 17,238 acres were damaged across the state.

Disaster management secretary Rahul Bojja released orders for compensation to the tune of Rs 151.64 crore to be paid to 1,30,988 farmers. Farmers are expecting to get the compensation by the month-end, at least.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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