Punjab farmers get as low as Rs 93 for crop damage

As if the widespread damage to crops caused by unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm was not enough, the compensation by the state government has only added to the misery of many beleaguered farmers in Punjab.

Some of the farmers received a meagre compensation as low as Rs 93 for crop damage. Others have got pittance as compensation cheques of Rs 131.25.

Many of these farmers are from Lundewala village in Muktsar district of Punjab. Pavitar Singh and Gurjant Singh said they got not more than Rs 75 each for crop damage. Harjit Singh, who owns more than five acres of farmland, said he got a compensation of only Rs 300.
Even in nearby Bhunder village, as many as 57 farmers were awarded a meagre compensation by the government.

The compensation has stroked anger against the government with farmers terming it unfair. This, after the government carried out an elaborate exercise before deciding the amount of relief to be provided to rain-hit farmers.

The relief component was also to accommodate the damage caused to houses. Lundewala native Gurmeet Singh, who says his four rooms and a cattle shed were damaged, got compensation of a mere Rs 1,500. He wondered how this meagre amount would help him rebuilt the broken structures. He said even though the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) had visited the area, he got no compensation for crop damage.

Many farmers are facing a similar predicament. Amarjit Singh got a relief cheque of only Rs 93. Satpal Singh whose standing crop on two acres of farmland got damaged, said he got a mere Rs 375. He said he accepted the cheque to highlight “official apathy”.  
The cheques were distributed to effected farmers last Friday. Farmers are also complaining about disparity in distribution of cheques.

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