October 23, 2015 2:10:34 am
A week after the Odisha government announced a Rs 1,000-crore relief package for drought-hit farmers, another farmer took his own life after crop failure.
Bhubaneswar Behera, from Barpadar village under Nuapara’s Khariar block, reportedly hanged himself due to bad crop and financial distress.
Earlier, Behera had lost an acre-and-a-half of his land during construction of a canal and was supposed to get a compensation of Rs 10 lakh. Even as he waited for the compensation, the crop on the remaining two-and-half acres under his possession withered due to drought.
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Another farmer — Judhistir Putel — was battling for his life in Bolangir after consuming pesticide. Patel was admitted to the Kantabanji government hospital on Wednesday. His crop ruined due to insufficient rain, Judhistir — who had sown paddy, vegetables on four acres and had borrowed Rs 80,000 for the season — was brought to the hospital in a critical condition.
Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathy said he had asked for detailed reports from the collectors of both districts.
In the past one month, more than 30 farmers — most of them in rain-deficient western Odisha districts — have killed themselves allegedly over crop failure.
Last week, Odisha government announced relief measures for farmers in 12 districts. The relief package promised cash incentive for farmers, who had suffered crop loss of 33 per cent or more. The government also promised to convert short-term kharif loans to medium-term loans in areas with 50 per cent and above crop damage.
Apart from this, 50 per cent remission in terms of cess on land revenue was announced for farmers where the crop loss was 33 per cent and more.
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