Sixty-year-old Motilal Arya, a farmer in Luhawad gram panchayat, had taken 25 bighas of land for cultivation on a rent of Rs 2.5 lakh a year. He suffered massive crop loss due to the unseasonal rains and hailstorms in March this year. However, he didn’t get any compensation from the government.
Reason: The compensation against the crop loss got credited to the bank account of the land owner from whom he had taken the land on rent and the latter refused to hand over the money to Arya. “Rain and hail destroyed my crop of coriander and wheat. Now, when the compensation has come, it has come in the account of the landowner. I have suffered the loss, so I should be compensated; the landowner has claimed the land rent in advance,” Arya said.
He has lodged a formal complaint with the sub divisional magistrate (SDM) and the local cooperative society president, but has not got any relief.
Another tenant, Mukhtar Ali, 50, had a similar complaint. “I took 48 bighas of land on rent for cultivation. The crop is all gone. The landowner is not willing to share the compensation,” he said. Ali said he knew at least 50 more tenants like him who were deprived of the compensation.
As per a rough estimate, more than 50 percent farmers in the Kota region take land for cultivation on rent, which means there are a number of farmers like Motilal Arya and Mukhtar Ali, who have been ruined by the disaster without being compensated.
As per the government norms for disaster relief, crop compensation gets credited to the bank account of landowner, as the revenue department lists only those farmers for compensation whose names are registered in the revenue records.
Dashrath Kumar, general secretary of the Hadauti Kisan Union, an organisation working for the farmers, said there are several land holders who are readily sharing the crop compensation with tenant farmers, but admitted many of them have denied compensation to them.
Many a time the land owner rents out only a portion of his land and cultivates the remaining himself. In such cases, the landowner also deserves to be compensated for the crop loss. The compensation is given for a maximum of two hectares. “Maybe compensating farmers for the total cultivated land could be a solution,” he added.
When asked about such complaints from tenants, Kota district collector Jogaram said he had received some complaints and was looking into them. He pointed out that landowners could authorise tenant for crop compensation through an affidavit, but in the absence of a written agreement, the district administration could do little to force landowners to share compensation with tenants.