Assess crop losses, extend assistance to `ryots': Telangana HC to govt

Telangana High Court on Tuesday instructed the state government to enumerate and assess the crop losses due to excessive and incessant rains in September and October 2020.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  29 Sep 2021 3:31 AM GMT
Assess crop losses, extend assistance to `ryots: Telangana HC to govt

Hyderabad: Telangana High Court on Tuesday instructed the state government to enumerate and assess the crop losses due to excessive and incessant rains in September and October 2020. The court gave the government three months to initiate measures in this regard.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice MS Ramachandra Rao and Justice T Vinod Kumar found fault with the state government for not providing assistance to farmers whose crops were damaged following incessant rains.

The bench also directed the government to extend assistance to ryots (farmers, including tenant farmers, in the form of agricultural input subsidy within a month of enumeration of crop loss. The subsidy for this can be secured from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and SDRF under National Disaster Management Act­ 2005.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Vissa Kiran Kumar and two others from Hyderabad seeking a direction to the Telangana government to immediately initiate the process of field-level enumeration of crop and livestock losses faced by the farmers due to the incessant rains.

The bench also directed the state to take steps for providing additional and appropriate relief to the small and marginal farmers, who have suffered huge economic loss in the absence of crop insurance coverage, within four months.

The petitioners also complained that inaction by the government in enlightening agriculturists about crop insurance scheme cost them dearly.

The court also criticized the state government for its failure to inform the farmers about the Prime Minister's Fasal Bima Yojana. "It is the duty of the state government to inform farmers through its extension facilities about it so that they may choose to avail insurance individually," the bench said.

The bench observed that the state government cannot deny input subsidies to farmers who lost crops due to rains citing its Rythu Bandhu scheme. Under the scheme Rs 10,000 per year per acre is offered to farmers. The government scheme benefits only landowners even if they did not suffer any crop loss.

The bench also recalled that agriculture input subsidy to the tune of Rs 22 crore was given to farmers in addition to Rythu Bandhu scheme payment following the HC order.

It was the duty of the state government to inform the farmers through extension facilities about Prime Minister's Fasal Bima Yojana, the bench said.

The bench rejected the state government's contention that no farmer suffered crop loss in excess of 33%.

The bench pointed out that the Telangana government sent the final estimate of crop loss on October 19 to the central government.

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