If the unseasonal rains had not inflicted enough damage on the crops in Uttar Pradesh, the state government has rubbed salt on the farmers wounds by issuing compensation cheques worth as low as Rs 186 and Rs 750.
While some farmers refused to cash in the cheques, several others turned down the compensation.
"We are giving out the cheques according to norms. We do not decide the amount... It is calculated as per the rate of compensation amount fixed against the actual land holding of the farmers," claimed a tehsildar.
The compensation amount fixed by the central government is Rs 4,500 per hectare in non-irrigated areas (those places with no government irrigation facility) and Rs 9,000 per hectare in irrigated area.
UP minister Ambika Chaudhary told HT: "The government order regarding the compensation says that the minimum compensation must not be less than Rs 750, but perhaps the local officers in districts are distributing cheques without reading the order."
According to chief secretary Alok Ranjan, the damages in 40 districts alone is worth Rs 1,100 crore. The state government has released Rs 500 crore as compensation.
"Even if the state government is paying Rs 9,000 per hectare as crop damage compensation in non-irrigated areas and Rs 18,000 per hectare in irrigated areas, then this compensation amount is far less than the input cost per hectare. The compensation must be more than the rate of input cost per hectare," said Pushpendra, a farmers activist in Banda.
According to Chaudhary, Ranjan would look into the matter and take appropriate action.