Posted by Ramoo on August 31, 2009
Arvind Singh Bisht, TNN 30 August 2009, 04:55am IST
LUCKNOW: It is a catch-22 situation in UP. While there is no reprieve from the severe drought in 58 of the total 70 districts in the state,
floods have now become the bane of over one dozen districts. Incidentally, these flood-affected districts are also included in the list of drought-affected districts.
Uniquely, it is East UP which is under floods, while Western UP reeling under severe droughts, has been spared so far from this. Surprisingly, these floods are not due to excessive rain, but are caused due to excessive flow of water from Nepal into the rivers like Ghagra, Rapti, Gandak and Saryu and Narayani. All these rivers are either flowing above the danger mark or just touching this point.
The threat still looms large, as monsoon is not yet over. If the past experience is any cue, then floods have been most common in UP in the month of September. The government by its own admission puts the estimated flood-affected population at present at over 12 lakh in as many as 38 tehsils of 12 districts of Behraich, Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Siddarth Nagar, Deoria, Shravasti, Sitapur, Faizabad, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Bahraich, Gonda and Balrampur.
The number might swell, if there is more rain in the catchment areas, particularly in Nepal, which is like a scourge for the state in term of floods.
The worst hit are the farmers, who get peanuts in spite of the political blame game going on between the Mayawati government and the Congress-led government at the Centre over the issue of relief package. The state has demanded a hefty sum of around Rs 8,000 cr for drought relief. The package for the flood relief will be in addition to this.
But for the farmers, getting this relief is far more difficult than to face the ordeal of nature’s vagaries. The norms for the relief are as: Rs 1 lakh in case of a death. For rehabilitation, Rs 20 per day each are given to every adult and Rs 15 per day to minor. For the loss of crop, a compensation of Rs 2,000 per hectare is admissible. Likewise, Rs 25,000 relief is given on the destruction of a `pucca house’ and Rs 2,000 on a `kuchha house.’
However, getting this relief is not possible without running from pillar to post. Most of the time it’s very purpose gets defeated due to inordinate delay in its disbursement. The most defective is the compensation norm set for the loss of crop. This is fixed Rs 2,000 per hectare. But the fact remains that most of the land-holdings in UP are less than one hectare. So, the majority of farmers, who are at the rock-bottom of the society virtually get nothing out of the government’s relief. In fact, this comes as a jackpot for the revenue officials and other concerned, who stand to gain most by this.
Already, the situation has taken a turn for the worst in the state. The adversity of nature has put the farmers, particularly marginal and small farmers in abject poverty. The result is that of suicides by farmers in the state. In one such case reported from Lakhimpur-Kheri only last week, a farmer couple– Dharmpal (35) and his wife Dharma Devi committed suicide due to indebtedness.
Incidentally, UP has the dubious distinction of highest number of indebted farmers — much more than Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh where maximum number of farmers’ suicide take place — and the above incident comes as a wake up call.
Posted in Drought, Utter Pradesh | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ramoo on February 19, 2007
Akhilesh Kumar Singh
[ 19 Feb, 2007 0237hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
KANPUR: Striving hard to survive the prevailing political turmoil in Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav faced yet another setback on Sunday.
Enraged over the district administration’s callous approach, a farmer set himself ablaze in front of the CM while he was addressing a rally at Mahoba.
The condition of the 35-year-old farmer identified as Maniram was critical with above 50% burn injuries.
The incident took place around the time when the CM strongly refuted reports of suicides and hunger deaths of farmers due to consecutive droughts in the region.
“Not a single farmer has committed suicide in UP during my regime and those making such claims are opposition-sponsored agents trying to tarnish the government image,”claimed Yadav at a rally in Mahoba.
“The farmers suicides are taking place only in Congress-ruled states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh. But the UPA government is concerned more about UP farmers to defame my government,”he added.
The police immediately shifted Maniram to the Jhansi Medical College, where his condition remains serious. A resident of Murori village of Mahoba district, Maniram had declared a fortnight ago that he would immolate himself during the CM’s rally because local officials had ignored his repeated pleas for compensating the death of his horse.
According to locals, Maniram had taken his horse to a recently organised animal fair where it died. Since animals taking part in the fair are insured, he was entitled to a compensation but officials did not pay heed to his pleas.
Maniram was leading a penurious life as he had already sold his land to pay back agricultural loans, his neighbours added.
Confirming the immolation bid, Mahoba district magistrate Sameer Verma said that Maniram was mentally unstable (sirfira) and his act was absolutely unwarranted.
“Maniram himself was responsible for the death of his horse as he used to give it liquor,”said Verma. He defended the local officials and said none of them were at fault.
Mulayam, on his way back to Lucknow from Mahoba, just dropped his party senior colleague Harmohan Singh at the police lines helipad and proceeded without speaking to mediapersons.
Hit by persistent droughts, farmers’ suicides in Bundelkhand have become a routine affair. In the last three years, more than 600 farmers have committed suicides in the four districts of Bundelkhand region but official machinery continues to deny this.
Posted in Farmers Suicides, Utter Pradesh | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ramoo on January 26, 2007
New Delhi, Jan 25: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday asked the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to submit a report within four weeks on the media reports over alleged suicides of poor people in Bundelkhand area.
Taking cognizance of a news report which stated that farmers were committing suicide in the area, the commission said, “the contents of the press report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the poor people and in particular, the farmers of Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh”.
The news report had highlighted that Bundelkhand area which has been witnessing drought-like conditions for the last four years is reporting suicidal deaths.
The report also said that the area was declared drought-hit only in the year 2004-05 following more than 50 per cent crop loss in the seven districts of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalaun, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda and Chitrakoot.
Posted in Farmers Suicides, Utter Pradesh | Leave a Comment »