In an apparent case of the district administration’s indifference to farmers, the administration has failed to recommend even a single case of farmer suicide for the compensation announced by the state government.
The government had announced in July that a district-level committee, comprising deputy commissioner, senior superintendent of police, chief medical officer and sarpanch of the village concerned, would verify the suicide cases after which a compensation of Rs 3 lakh would be provided to the family.
However, as the notification was circulated on July 23, the administration claims to have received only three such cases, which have not been put up before the committee. Sarbjeet Singh, an official of the district agriculture office, said, “Since the notification was received we have forwarded only three suicide cases for verification to the SDMs concerned.”
Chief medical officer (CMO) Binod Berry, when contacted, told HT that he was unaware of any such committee and also denied having participated in any such meeting.
Deputy commissioner Bhupinder Singh, however, said he had organised a few meetings on the issue and the cases that had been verified by the authorities would be recommended for compensation.
“I have held such meetings with the district officers and we will send these cases to the senior officials so that the compensation is provided to the aggrieved families. We will soon hold another meeting,” he said.
The notification accessed by HT also suggests that the officials of revenue and agriculture departments should hold a counselling session with the family of the deceased farmer for at least a year to bring them out of the trauma. However, the situation on the ground is in contrast to the guidelines issued by the state government.
When HT spoke to a few families of the suicide victims, they claimed that the government officials had visited them only once or twice to verify the record. “It is only after the media highlights the case that a few officials visit us,” said a family member of a suicide victim.