The Jharkhand government on Friday has set up a helpline for farmers that would become operational from Saturday. The move comes in the wake of around half-a-dozen suicides by farmers in less than two months in the state.
While the administration has maintained that none of these suicides were linked to pressure of loans, the state government has announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh in each case. At least five suicides have taken place in Ranchi, while one was reported in Gumla district.
The Chief Minister’s Farmers’ Relief Cell will operate helpline numbers 0651-2490542 and 7632996429, which can be used by the farmers to lodge their complaints. These would be addressed “within 72 hours under any circumstance”, said an official release. In case of delay, the farmer would be explained the reason behind the same.
The Chief Minister’s Office would also be informed about the calls being made on the helpline. In an official statement issued on Friday, Chief Minister Das said that the farmers need not worry about various issues affecting and approach the government, which was always with them.
The latest incident of suicide was reported from Chanho Block in Ranchi in which a 25-year-old farmer committed suicide on Tuesday night. He was reportedly facing economic losses due to crop failure.
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat, who interacted with various department officials in Ranchi, said that the state needed help in irrigation. “This soil is fertile. But still, most people are following single crop cycle. They could do more. The state needs central assistance on irrigation, besides education and health,” said Saraswat, while interacting with media persons.
The NITI Aayog member also pointed out that the silos between departments needs to be broken down. “If we want to use communication technology, or take drinking water to every household, we need all the departments concerned to act in an integrated manner,” he said. He lauded the state government for performing well in various areas.