Punjab: Farm bodies reject ₹6,800 per acre compensation, unrest to swell
The leaders of farm bodies have rejected the amount as “inappropriate”. However, the state’s revenue department said the amount can’t be increased
Against a demand of ₹50,000 per acre compensation to flood-hit farmers by farm body leaders, the state government has started disbursing a compensation of ₹6,800 per acre.
The leaders of farm bodies have rejected the amount as “inappropriate”. However, the state’s revenue department said the amount can’t be increased. “We are giving the amount as per the provisions of the national disaster relief fund (NDRF) mandates for compensating loss to freshly sown crop,” said a senior officer of the state government, adding that the loss compensated is the input cost, as crop was just sown when hit by floods.
“Who would pay for the loss incurred by farmers who are unable to cultivate the crop at all, or their crop was washed away repeatedly in floods. What about the contract amount that the farmers tiling land on lease are supposed to pay to the owners,” asked Balbir Singh Rajewal, who heads a faction of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU). It could be mentioned that as per the state agriculture department’s data, transplantation of the kharif crop was yet to be done on 6 lakh acres even as the season has ended.
“We may have ideological differences, but we are with the farmers’ organisations which suffered in Sangrur,” said Jagmohan Singh, a leader of the BKU (Dakounda). Rajewal also announced support to BKU (Ekta-Azad). In the coming days, the protests are expected to swell.
The revenue department has identified 2,900 dwelling units which have suffered partial loss and 666 houses have suffered complete loss due to floods.
“The government is also giving ₹6,500 for partial damage and ₹1.2 lakh for complete loss,” said a senior official of the revenue department. Districts Patiala and Sangrur have suffered maximum damage.
Rajewal, however, said the meagre amount would not do any good to farmers who suffered huge loss. He demanded a compensation of ₹10 lakh for damage to property and ₹1 lakh in case of death of a cattle head. Other farm bodies are also planning to join the agitation as Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), having 32 constituent farm bodies, held a meeting in Longowal and decided to show solidarity towards the agitating farmers. “We have decided to join farmers staging protest outside Longowal police station and the national chapter of SKM will announce further action course on September 2,” said Raminder Patiala, a coordination convener with the SKM.