Rain-hit farmers unhappy with relief

Rain-hit farmers unhappy with relief

The much-hyped Delhi government’s scheme for crop damage has benefited over 53,000 farmers in the past year. But the disbursed Rs 89 crore has been largely restricted to just four districts, and even those who got the compensation cheques complained of their “insignificant” amount.

In some districts, not even a single farmer has been awarded compensation as these areas are virtually “ineligible” for crop damage scheme, said a senior official with the Delhi government’s revenue department.

“No farmer under the south district has been given compensation for loss of crop since the introduction of the Aam Aadmi Party government’s scheme in May 2015. There is a negligible amount of agricultural land in the limits of south district. So such districts become virtually ineligible for the compensation as no crop is damaged in these areas,” the official told Deccan Herald. “Moreover, farmers don’t apply for compensation in such districts.”

The capital has been divided into 11 revenue districts and the records related to farmlands in the nearly 360 villages are maintained by the Delhi government’s Revenue Department headed by Divisional Commissioner A Anbarasu. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked the revenue department head to assess the crop damaged in the city due to unseasonal rain during the past couple of days.

According to the Delhi government’s revenue department, the city has a total of 45,307 acres of agricultural land, largely concentrated in four districts — north, west, northwest and southwest. Of this, 14,751 acres suffered crop damage last year, said the official. “Some 53,463 farmers have been given a compensation of a total of Rs 89 crore in the past one year,” he added.

In April, 2015, the AAP government had announced a compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare or Rs 20,000 per acre to farmers for the loss of crop. But the Delhi BJP alleged that farmers who have got the compensation cheques since May 2015 complain that compensation cheques ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 16,000 are too little to even cover their expenditure on farming.

“The AAP government had announced Rs 50,000 per hectare but the highest compensation given to farmers is Rs 14,000 per hectare,” said Satish Upadhyay, chief of Delhi BJP unit.

“At most villages, the farmers complained to me that the relief promised by the Delhi government after last year’s crop failure is yet to reach them. Those who got relief said that they did not get the amounts as publicised by the Kejriwal government,” he added.
The BJP chief on Tuesday met farmers in 24 villages including Nizampur, Jaunti, Madanpur Dabas, Hiran Kundna, Tikri, Ladpur, Mazra, Dariyapur, Harawali and Ghogha.

There are nearly a dozen Assembly seats in the rural belt in Delhi. The ruling AAP swept all the seats during Vidhan Sabha elections in 2015 as the party had promised better compensation to rain-hit farmers in the run-up to the Assembly polls.

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