India

UP govt makes mockery of compensation as it hands out cheques for amounts as low as 75 rupees

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For the farmers in UP struck by nature's fury, the word compensation seems less of a relief and more like a cruel tasteless joke, the compensation cheques were supposed to cushion them against the devastating damage to their crops.

Instead for farmers in Faizabad it further demeaned their already sagging morale. If the unseasonal rains and hail storms had not inflicted enough damage on the crops in Uttar Pradesh, the state government's apathy has rubbed further salt on the wounds.

Compensation cheques worth as low as Rs 75 to Rs 100 describe the insensitivity and apathy which has rendered the exercise as a mere formality.

The ruling Samajwadi party has sought to shield itself by conveniently shifting the blame on the administration for this laxity, while the officials now look in a damage control mode.

Last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a major reprieve for farmers hit by unseasonal rain and storms.

He announced that compensation for crop damage has been raised by 50 percent.

He reduced the criteria of 50 percent crop damage for providing compensation to affected farmers to 33 percent which will help more farmers to get compensation for their crop loss.

The Prime Minister also asked banks to restructure loans of affected farmers and instructed insurance companies to pro-actively settle their claims.

So, although the centre is providing a helping hand to farmers in dealing with crop damage, the states have much to do to share their responsibility.

@NZ-13/04