Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s home district Sehore’s farmers often get shocks allegedly by inflated electricity bills issued by power distribution company.
This came to light during visits by revenue minister Rampal Singh, principal secretary cooperative Ajit Kesari, woman and child development department commissioner Kalpana Shrivastava and collector Sudam Khade’s to different areas of the district in the past two days to assess the crop damage situation.
Ramdayal Parmar, a farmer from Bilkisganj complained to Kesari that he had been slapped with a Rs 1.62 lakh bill with fine.
When the principal secretary enquired with the assistant engineer concerned, the latter said the farmer had installed a transformer of more than 25 HP of capacity, whereas he had sanction for 25 HP only.
The farmer contended it was the contractor’s fault, after which Kesari instructed officials to take action against the contractor.
The farmers said more than 80% of their soybean crop was damaged due to drought. They had just 3 quintals of yield per hectare this time against an average yield of 12 quintals per hectare.
They added that they have resolved not to farm soybean again.
Farmers also raised the issue of unavailability of fertilizer and seeds and that of money lenders giving loans at exorbitant interest rates.
Similarly, villagers in Bhaukhedi complained to Singh about inflated bills and the power distribution company’s alleged indifferent attitude in installing transformers.
The minister assured that he would look into the complaints. Singh also visited Nipaniya, Rehti, Nadner, Holipura Bayan, Salkanpur, Mardanpur, Borghi Ratanpur, Leelakhedi, Ladkui and others.
The collector said an estimated loss of crops worth Rs 113 crore has been reported till date.