Orissa farmers on streets, demand adequate compensation

Farmers in Orissa on Thursday held demonstrations throughout the state demanding adequate compensation for crop loss due to unseasonal rains.

Bhubaneswar: Farmers in Orissa on Thursday
held demonstrations throughout the state demanding adequate
compensation for crop loss due to unseasonal rains even as
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik rushed to New Delhi to discuss
the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Though the state government had already announced a Rs
900-crore package for the rain-hit farmers, they rejected it
and burnt copies of the package, terming it as a "mockery" of
people`s plight, official said.
The state government had announced maximum
compensation of Rs 4,000 per hectare for those facing more
than 50 per cent loss.

Farmers in southern and western regions of the state
were out on the streets demanding more compensation for
massive crop damage, they said.

In coastal region, the farmers, under the banner of
Naba Nirman Krushak Samaj (NNKS), staged a demonstration in
front of the Jagatsinghpur district collectorate and locked
the main gate preventing officials from entering the office.

"It is sad that Jagatsinghpur has not been included in
the list of districts hit by unseasonal rain in the state,"
NNKS leader Akshya Kumar said, adding paddy crop in about
36,000 hectare of land had been badly hit by untimely rain
during the harvesting season this time.

Other districts not included in the list of affected
areas were Cuttack, Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak, Leader
of Opposition in the state assembly Bhupinder Sin said.

Meanwhile, the chief minister has rushed to the
national capital to discuss the matter with the prime
minister.
Patnaik would demand procurement relaxation in the FAQ
(fair average quality) of paddy and bonus for the affected
farmers, a senior official at the revenue and disaster
management department said.

The ruling BJD also launched an agitation against the
Centre for allegedly not helping the state government during
the crisis.

The Centre had announced Rs 420 crore interim relief
for the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh where only eight districts
had been affected, while it did almost nothing for Orissa, BJD
sources said.

PTI

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