Badal seeks Rs 10,000 per acre compensation
Concerned over the “major losses” caused to crops due to recent rains in the region, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday sought the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for upward revision of the compensation to the affected farmers at a rate of Rs 10,000 per acre.
In separate letters to the Prime Minister and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Badal apprised them of the agony and pain of a large number of farmers who have suffered heavy losses due to sudden and erratic changes in weather.
He said that Punjab and its neighbouring states have experienced widespread rains over the past few days and that the average rainfall was about 42 cms on March 1 and 2, according to an official statement here.
Badal said that although rains at this point of time should be good for the standing wheat and other Rabi crops but unfortunately intensity and frequency of rains coupled with high velocity winds and hailstorms have caused substantial damage to the crops and impaired livelihood of a large number of farmers, it said.
The Chief Minister apprised both the leaders that initial reports indicated that cultivated area of over 7 lakh acres has been affected and the damage was much higher in the case of vegetables and other horticulture crops.
He said that at this stage Rabi crops for this year were almost ready for a good harvesting season and the farmers have now incurred almost full input cost in raising these crops. Badal bemoaned that in cases where farmers would not be able to harvest or their crops yield was reduced, they were likely to lose nearly a full season and resultantly suffer serious damage to their livelihood.