Farmer suicides: Compensation for 23 families still a mirage

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mirageTumkurAug 15, 2013:Unable to pay debts, as many as 23 farmers committed suicide in Sira taluk alone in the last three years.

The majority of their families, however,  are yet to receive compensation from the State government. Under the current system, only the families of farmers who had taken loans from district co-operative societies and nationalised banks, are eligible to get compensation. Those who had borrowed from private institutions will not receive any aid.

A total of 12 farmers in 2011, six in 2012 and five in 2013 committed suicide in the taluk. Of these, 11 families of farmers have been deprived compensation. Families of 13 farmers who died of snake bites and three who were killed in accidents in the last two years, are also yet to recieve compensation.

However, District In-charge Minister T B Jayachandra, who is also the legislator from Sira, seems to be oblivious to their plight. “The legislator has made no attempt to raise the issue in the House,” farmers said.

Zilla Panchayat member C R Umesh urged the government to follow the Andhra Pradesh government model in providing compensation to victims’ families.

The taluk has been suffering from the effects of severe drought for five years. Groundnut — the major crop here — has failed.

Groundnut is grown in 50,000 hectare in the taluk.  The plants have dried up for want of water and most of the borewells in the taluk have gone dry.

“Water has not been found even at depths of a thousand feet but the authorities have not shown interest to address the issue,” farmers complained. According to sources, the crop loss to drought forced farmers to obtain loans.

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