The three-day tour of bureaucrats to MP’s rural areas to assess the farmers’ plight caused by drought and other reasons concluded on Tuesday with a senior official admitting that farmers were committing suicide due to heavy burden of debt.
In view of severe agrarian crisis in the state, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had instructed 162 IAS, IPS and IFS officers to spend a few nights in villages and interact with farmers to know the ground realities.
The media went after chief secretary Anthony de Sa who went first to tourist resort at Madai in Hoshangabad district, left his family there and then proceeded to identified villages and spent time with farmers at a chaupal.
The officer that remained in the eye of the storm was PWD principal secretary Pramod Agarwal who stayed at a five star hotel in Khajuraho. He maintained distance from the media throughout his stay at the hotel Raddison where he stayed for two days.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan too remained on a whirlwind tour across the state addressing farmers. While Shivraj mixed with crowds and sat on the ground amidst farmers, bureaucrats maintained distance with the farmers and assured chairs for themselves at every place they visited.
“The main objective of the whole tour that was planned by the CM got lost by the way bureaucrats behaved with farmers,” said a senior official requesting anonymity.
ACS Aruna Sharma while talking to the media in Adupura in Gwalior district emphasised that if farmers get engaged in some auxiliary business along with farming, they could handle the crises well. She admitted that farmers commit suicide under pressure of heavy debt.