Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur, June 2:
With compensation towards crop loss due to cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods yet to be paid even eight months after the natural calamity, discontent is fast brewing among farmers in Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s home district of Ganjam.
Several members of the Zilla Parishad expressed their concern over the delay in payment of assistance for crop damage at the meeting held at Chhatrapur over the weekend.
Ganjam was the worst affected in the cyclone and floods in October last year with different crops, including paddy, in over 3.90 lakh hectares affected. The district administration had sought an assistance of over Rs 165 crore to provide succour to the affected farmers towards crop loss which is yet to arrive, said official sources.
Agriculture and Revenue departments had jointly assessed the crop loss, said sources.
Farmers’ leaders have threatened to take to the streets if the state government delays payment of assistance to farmers for crop losses due to the twin calamities any further.
Convener of Chasi Surakhya Abhiyan Rabi Rath alleged; ” Keeping an eye on the elections, the government had announced the compensation package for the affected farmers, but has forgotten all about it after the elections are over.”
“Though the government had announced a package for the affected farmers, they are yet to get any help even eight months after the calamity,” alleged Simanchal Nahak, secretary of the Rushikulya Raita Mahasabha, a farmers’ organisation.
On the other hand, Ganjam collector Prem Chandra Chaudhary said; “I hope the issue will be resolved soon. We are pursuing the matter with the government. We hope the new government will take a decision and release the funds soon.”
Chaudhary said the delay in the government taking a decision perhaps could be due to the elections in the state and enforcement of the model code of conduct.