The Pathetic State of Haryana Farmers


Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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In 2011, Haryana farmers suffered damage to their crops, mainly wheat, due to water logging after the heavy rains.

Waterlogged wheat fields
Waterlogged wheat fields

The state government then had ordered a special survey to assess the losses. In April this year, almost two years after the survey, several farmers received cheques as compensation from the Jhajjar district administration in Haryana.

Here is a million rupees question for you: “How much do you expect an average farmer would have received as compensation for damage to his crop?

If you answer ₹2, then you have hit the bull’s-eye.

The Haryana government has issued cheques worth ₹2, ₹3, ₹4 and so on to farmers as compensation for crop damaged during 2011 rains. However, some farmers were lucky and received compensation in double figures of  ₹30 – ₹31.

Haryana farmer Satyanaraian, son of Hari Singh, received an Axis bank cheque of ₹2 and another farmer Tek Chand, son of Bhim Singh, received a cheque for ₹3 as compensation for crops damaged.

Image of a cheque the Haryana government sent to Jhajjar farmers as compensation.
Image of a cheque the Haryana government sent to Jhajjar farmers as compensation.

“We were shocked. We first thought that there had been a mistake, however, we checked with the tahsildar and he confirmed that the amounts on the cheques were correct. The banks are situated in Jhajjar and the bus fare to get there is Rs 14,” said Satyanaraian.

The frustrated farmers have refused to deposit these chques in Axis Bank since they would first have to open an account in the bank that would cost them more money.

A farmer of Paharipur village, owner of 2.5 acres of land asked: “if the government claims that the compensation rate is Rs. 3,500, how did the officials calculate my loss
aa ₹6?”

When the local Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leaders wanted photocopies of the cheques, the concerned farmers gave them the cheques claiming that even photocopies would cost them.

INLD, the principal opposition party in Haryana has criticized the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government for making a mockery of flood relief compensation. On the otherhand, government officials said they deserve a pat on the back for precisely identifying every shareholder and awarding due compensation.

It is alleged that the frustrated farmers have refused to deposit these chques in Axis Bank since they would first have to open an account in the bank that would cost them more money.

A farmer of Paharipur village, owner of 2.5 acres of land asked: “if the government claims that the compensation rate is ₹3,500, how did the officials calculate my loss aa ₹6?”

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), the principal opposition party in Haryana has criticized the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government for making a mockery of flood relief compensation. Abhay Chautala , MLA, Indian National Lok Dal said: “Haryana’s Congress government has ridiculed the poor farmers by issuing these cheques. This is a cruel joke on farmers who lost their valuable crops.”

On the otherhand, government officials said they deserve a pat on the back for precisely identifying every shareholder and awarding due compensation. According to an official spokesperson, ₹1.14 crore has been distributed to farmers in 3,365 acres of land in Jhajjar district.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana
Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana

However, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda defended the government’s move, saying that there was no wrong doing in the compensation provided to farmers.

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