Bhubaneswar: Amid several incidents of crops being set on fire by farmers due to pest attack, Odisha Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout today said no compensation will be provided to those doing so.
Speaking to media persons, Rout said it is not possible to estimate the crop loss of such farmers as they have already torched their crops.
However, those farmers who have suffered more than 33 per cent crop loss due to pest attack or natural calamity will get compensation, the minister said.
“Certain unscrupulous elements with political agenda have been hatching this plot of crop burning in a bid to put the state government in trouble… It is unprecedented, never happened before. Why are they torching paddy in the fields?” said the minister.
Rout, who held a review meeting with senior officials of the departments concerned at the state secretariat here, said 1.10 lakh hectares of paddy-cultivated land was affected by pests while 34,619 hectare was badly affected.
“The agriculture officials are assessing the situation by getting in touch with the farmers. The reason behind the pest attack is being examined by our agricultural scientists,” said the minister.
He also assured the action would be taken against the persons involved in selling or providing pesticides, which are not as per the standards.
Over the death of farmer Brunda Sahu of Bargarh, Rout said an investigation is needed to ascertain the reason behind his suicide. This apart, it is needed to be checked whether he had taken the loan amount from bank or not.
The minister added that the state government is not responsible if farmers take loan from private money lenders.
Criticising Rout over his statement, BJP state unit president Basant Panda said, “The minister’s statement lacks humanity. It is unfortunate and condemnable for the civil society.”