Updated: December 25, 2015 10:40:58 pm
The Odisha government on Thursday admitted that it had received reports of 41 farmer suicides in the state in the aftermath of crop failure, but refused to link the deaths to crop failure.
Special relief commissioner G V V Sarma said inquiry reports on the suicide of 41 farmers had been received and the government was examining the actual cause of deaths. According to the inquiry reports, farmer deaths are mainly due to family disputes and excessive liquor consumption and not due to crop failure, he said. Unofficially, there have been over 50 cases of farmer suicides in the past two months.
The special relief commissioner said as per an estimate report, 139 blocks across 21 districts in Odisha have been affected by drought. “As per Odisha Relief Code, after the estimate report is received, a detailed crop cutting experiment is conducted. After crop cutting experiment, village-level loss would be quantified. Then agricultural input subsidy is provided to the affected farmer from the State Disaster Response Fund,” said Sarma.
He added that action would be taken against unregistered moneylenders.
However, opposition BJP and Congress leaders slammed the government over farmer suicides. Congress leader Narasingha Mishra asked: “How could the collectors say the farmer deaths were not due to crop failure or loan burden? We have also conducted field surveys and the results are something else.” BJP leader Suresh Pujari alleged that the government was asking the Collectors to submit false reports.
Farmer leader Ashok Pradhan said the the so-called relief measures offered to farmers were insignificant.
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