Chandigarh, August 22, 2023: As per media reports, Farmers in different parts of the state are claiming that they have not received any compensation for the losses suffered by them due to floods that have wreaked havoc.
While paddy growers are still counting their losses because of flashfloods, cotton growers are living under the shadow of the pink bollworm attack.
According to the news published in The Tribune, Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of the BKU Ugrahan, said farmers had no option but to protest as the state government had not released any compensation and the Centre was reportedly not willing to allow the enhanced compensation.
It was to demand a higher compensation from the Centre that 16 farm unions of the North had threatened to launch a protest at Chandigarh from today. But in a statewide police operation yesterday, prominent leaders of these unions were taken into preventive custody.
As one farmer was killed at Longowal and public outrage against the police action swelled, the state government ordered to release of Rs 186 crore from the State Disaster Relief Fund to compensate farmers for the crop loss suffered by them in 16 districts.
Official sources in the Revenue Department have told The Tribune that another Rs 97.70 crore had been disbursed to those who had either lost a relative or suffered damage to buildings. A special girdawari to assess the losses during the two floods was earlier ordered by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Senior Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Dr Darshan Pal said farmers in Punjab were awaiting to get compensation, even for the losses suffered in the Rabi marketing season when the wheat crop was hit by hailstorms.
Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of the BKU Dakaunda, said the compensation given to farmers was symbolic. “Only a handful of farmers have been given the compensation. Till date, girdawari of the flood-affected area is not done, as at many places, there is still silt deposition in the fields,” he said.
Revenue Minister Brahm Shankar Jimpa said the state government was doing all it could to expedite the girdawari. “We have released the money to deputy commissioners in flood-affected districts. The revenue staff will have to conduct an assessment of losses and give its reports before cheques can be given to farmers.
You will recall that during the previous governments’ rule, the compensation was not given for years. We are surely going to release the compensation as soon as the reports of girdawari are okayed,” he said.