HYDERABAD: State government has made contrary statements in its submissions on crop loss during 2020 Kharif following heavy rains during September and October months of the year.
Following this, the Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar directed assistant solicitor general (ASG) of India to furnish separate letters addressed by Chief Minister of Telangana as well as the state’s chief secretary seeking compensation for the loss suffered due to these rains.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, the CM had reportedly sought Rs. 600 crore as compensation under Disaster Management Act. The chief secretary addressed a letter to the Central Inspection Committee, which came to the state to assess the damage due to heavy rains. The CS report requested for Rs. 960 crore as flood relief in the report in which he mentioned the crop loss as around Rs. 1,000 crore.
The bench was dealing with a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by two citizens of the state complaining that no compensation has been extended for crop losses during Kharif 2020. They also complained that Telangana farmers had no provision for crop insurance as the state government has not paid its share for the purpose.
When the court had asked the state to make its stand clear on contentions in the PIL, secretary (Agriculture) Raghunandan Rao filed a counter that the heavy rainfall during Kharif 2020 did not amount to disaster / calamity for taking up enumeration of crop damage and notify the same under Disaster Management Act.
“Though there was inundation during heavy rainy days during September and October months, water receded subsequently. There was no crop damage due to various agronomical practices viz., draining of excess water, spraying of urea etc., which were immediately taken up. The advisories related to agronomical practices immediately after heavy rains had played a crucial role in regaining the normal condition of crops despite heavy rains”, Raghunandan Rao maintained.
Advocate general B.S. Prasad also submitted that on account of necessary measures taken up by farmers, yields obtained had been satisfactory. For this reason, the enumeration of crop losses was not necessitated. Therefore, invocation of Disaster Management Act, 2005, would not crop up.
Following this, the court inquired about the reported letters addressed by the state seeking union’s help. The advocate general said such letters were not available with him. The High Court then directed ASG Namavarapu Rajeshwar Rao to get the letters. The ASG mentioned that Rs. 188 crore have been released by the union government to Telangana under the Disaster Management Act.
The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, September 15....