The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the state to look into the court’s previous order and consider whether it must enhance the ex-gratia compensation of R1 lakh currently paid to the kin of those farmers who commit suicide in Maharashtra.
The directions came after the bench was informed by the state that despite its efforts to curb instances of farmer suicides, 1,000 farmers had committed suicide in the drought prone Marathwada region in 2015.
A bench of justices Naresh Patil and GS Kulkarni asked the state government to look into the court’s 2006 order whereby, it had asked the state if it was time to increase the ex gratia compensation sum of R1 lakh to a more “realistic amount”.
The bench also directed the state to appoint nodal officers in each district to take stock of the agricultural woes of farmers in their respective areas.
The worst affected areas in the region remained the districts of Yavatmal, Akola, and Osmanabad with instances of 388, 193, 164 farmer suicides in 2015 respectively.
In the first 20 days of this year, four farmers have already committed suicide in Akola district alone. The remaining districts are yet to take official stock of farmer suicides for this year.
On the previous hearing, the bench had asked the state government to list out the compensation and benefits provided to help the families of those farmers who had killed themselves after suffering agricultural losses.