Another team to visit Chikkaballapur to study drought

Amid speculations that the Union Government has decided to send another team to study the drought-hit districts in the State, to study the prevailing drought situation, the residents of various villages in the district remain sceptical about it.

The visit, which has been confirmed by the prime minister, the minister for external affairs and the chief minister, time and again, has only raised several queries among the residents, apart from being curious about the same.

In the last eight months, the central drought study team has visited the district twice and this is the third time that the team will be visiting here. At the same time, the people are also worried whether the report submitted by the drought relief team will be of any use at all. Once the district has been declared drought-hit, it was certain that the team would be visiting them. However, the citizens are also curious to know whether it would be visiting the same villages, the ones it visited on its previous visits, or some other villages.

Even otherwise, the residents are hopeful that whichever village the team visits, it should submit a clear picture on the situation prevailing there to the Union government. And if the Union government responded to their problems by sanctioning drought relief measures, then the villages would be all the more obliged, they opine.

Translated version

The members are of the opinion that whenever there is a drought in the district, the team of officials from New Delhi, Punjab and other places arrived here to study the ground realities. They posed questions in Hindi and English, to which they replied in Kannada. The local officials translate there versions to the officials in English.

The team visits the fields and take a look at the dried-up crops. They discuss among themselves and return back to their respective places. However, the follow-up after the submission of the report is never given to the residents. “We are not aware whether the Union government will take further action at all,” they rue.

“We expect that the Union government will react by releasing grants to undertake drought relief measures, after inspecting the reports. But not just the drought relief measures, also the developments after the submission of the report. We are totally in the dark,” expressed farmer Shivashankarappa, speaking to Deccan Herald.

“The team of officials are not aware of the local language, neither are they aware of the environs prevailing here, the temperature, the variety of crops and weather. They seek some information from us and visit only those villages, which they have selected among themselves and leave the place, even before they have arrived”, he added.

Grim realities

“How can the team assess the grim realities of the drought in a span of a few hours? How will they get a clear picture and submit a report, from a hurried and tightly-packed visit? And will our villages be included in the report submitted by them? We are not aware of these facts, Shivashankarappa added.

He said: “The team members should visit all the important villages in the district facing severe drought. They should hold discussions with the farmers and interact with them. They should spend some quality time before dashing to their next destination and submit a detailed report based on the material available here.

And after submitting the report to the Union government, the officials should give us the feedback. The residents should also be told of the total amount of grants released to the respective district and what was each taluk’s share in the grants.

All these facts should be made known to the public. Instead, if the team arrives, visits and then goes back without any word of communication on its development, then it would not be of any use,” said S Devaraju, another farmer.

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