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TS Govt blames nature, incomplete projects for farmers’ suicides

The Telangana Government has proposed to grant enhanced ex-gratia of Rs. 6 lakh to all the suicidal deaths of farmers since 2nd June, 2014.

Making a statement on the floor of Telangana State Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said that the government was proposing to pay enhanced ex-gratia to all the suicidal deaths approved by the committee since 2nd June, 2014, the Telangana Formation Day. Further, it would try to consider sympathetically the demand of loan waiver of remaining 50% crop loan at once.

“The government is very much concerned about the farmer suicides and hereby appeal to the farmers through this House not to resort to the extreme step of suicides since the government is taking all the possible measures for the welfare of the farmers,” Pocharam said.

The minister said that the normal onset of monsoon commenced from 13th June this year. Initially, there was a good spell of rain which facilitated early sowing of rainfed crops in all the districts. Subsequently, there was a continuous dry spell of more than 25 days with a huge deficit of -66% which affected badly rainfed crops, particularly in red soils. However, after this, the monsoon was revived and good amount of rainfall was received in the month of August/September which has brought down the overall deficiency to -14% only, he said.

“The area sown was 35.13 lakh Ha under all the crops, which is equivalent to 85% of the normal area of 41.43 Lakhs Ha. Out of the total area sown, 26.03 Lakhs Ha is under rainfed conditions and 9.1 Lakh Ha is under irrigated conditions. Further analysis of district wise rainfall data indicated that Adilabad, Khammam and Warangal (except Jangaon Revenue Division) had normal rainfall and crop condition is satisfactory. On the other hand, Karimnagar and Nalgonda districts due to continuous dry spells affected rainfed crops to the extent of 50%,” the minister said.

Whereas Nizamabad, Ranga Reddy and Medak districts had deficit rainfall in majority of the mandals which damaged the crops to the extent of 75% and the crops in black cotton soils only survived which may give some yield. The rainfall in Mahabubnagar district was very low and the crops were severely affected and the damage was to the extent of 100%.

“The government has taken all the steps in providing loan waiver (Rs. 8336 crore), positioning of seeds and fertilizers well in advance duly placing buffer stocks for the first time and quality power supply without any interruption. Inspite of all the timely efforts taken by the government, due to unfavourable seasonal conditions of two consecutive drought years as per the information received from the field, it is unfortunate to hear such sad news of farmers committing suicides due to distress,” Pocharam said.

The minister said that distress is due to non-completion of irrigation projects, abnormal depletion of ground water leading to drilling of more number of borewells, decades of negligence of development of minor irrigation tanks and erratic power supply in the past. (INN)