Victims of Ghaggar breach: Farmers of 19 Sangrur villages still await free wheat seeds, compensation
Farmers have also not been provided compensation for the loss of paddy crop so far, despite almost four months have passedUpdated: Nov 08, 2019 23:27 IST
Farmers of 19 villages in Moonak subdivision, about 65km from Sangrur, who had to face the Ghaggar’s wrath, are still waiting for the free wheat seeds they were promised by the Punjab government.
The sowing season has begun in the region, but some affected farmers are still resorting to buying their own seeds.
The state government had promised to supply free wheat seeds to farmers who faced damage between 76% and 100% during the July floods when the Ghaggar’s boundary was breached up to 150ft at Phulad village.
Farmers have also not been provided compensation for the loss of paddy crop so far, despite almost four months have passed.
According to the district agriculture department, lists of 10 villages have reached the office but the record of nine villages is still pending at subdivisional level.
The government is said to have sent around 2,170 quintals wheat seeds for victim farmers, but those are yet to be distributed among them.
“The government has done nothing. I have started sowing on 30 acres of the land while 20 acres are still pending. I have left all hopes and do not want to waste more time in waiting for subsidised seeds,” said a farmer, Manga Singh.
Another such farmer, Manpreet Singh, shared a similar plight.
“I had lost my paddy crop cultivated on seven acres to the floods, but I am yet to get a relief. A local patwari has visited four times for special girdawari, but we were not given compensation and free wheat seeds,” he added.
BKU (Ugrahan) block secretary Makhan Singh alleged that the government officials were deliberately delaying the supply of free seeds to give relief to their favourite ones.
“The victims are sowing seeds with their own money. They have already faced major loss of paddy crop. They have paid lease rent of around ₹60,000 per acre. The government had announced compensation of ₹12,000 per acre, which is not enough. The state should provide minimum ₹35,000 compensation and free seeds at the earliest,” he demanded.
Moonak SDM Kala Ram Kansal said lists of three villages were pending, but rest of the record has been sent to agriculture department.
“Almost all documents have been submitted to the agriculture department and farmers will be given free seeds within a couple of days,” Kansal assured.
“As farmers were busy in paddy harvest season and did not submit their bank account details, the compensation was delayed. Moreover, account details of 25% farmers are yet to be given. However, as we have received the remaining accounts details and compensation will be deposited within a week,” the SDM added.
Chief agriculture officer Jaswinder Pal Singh Grewal also confirmed that the department has received lists of 10 villages.