KCR visits hailstorm affected farmers in Khammam; declares compensation of ₹10,000 per acre

The chief minister assured that he would also ensure that the tenant farmers would be getting compensation.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Mar 23, 2023 | 4:00 PMUpdatedMar 23, 2023 | 4:00 PM

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao interacting with farmers in Khammam. (Twitter)

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Thursday, 23 March, promised ₹10,000 per acre to the farmers whose crops have been damaged by the recent hailstorms in the state.

He said, “Crops in an area of 2.28 lakh acres have been damaged. The state will release ₹228 crore immediately, at the rate of ₹10,000 per acre, regardless of the type of the crop that has been damaged.”

Speaking to media persons after interacting with farmers in Bonakal mandal in the Khammam district, KCR said, “The relief I have announced is not compensation. No one can compensate a farmer fully. It is for relief and rehabilitation to the farmers in their hour of crisis,” the chief minister said, adding that he would also help tenant farmers as they too had suffered heavily.

Tenant farmers to get relief

KCR said that he would ensure either the tenant or the farmer would get the compensation as the number of tenant farmers was quite high in the Khammam district.

“It would be done in the presence of the farmers, tenant farmers and the people’s representatives,” he said.

He said that the worst affected crop was maize. It was raised in 1.29 lakh acres but the hailstorm had flattened the crop. The other crops damaged included paddy on 72,709 acres, mango on 8,865 acres and other crops on 17,238 acres.

The chief minister sprang a surprise by saying that the state would not seek any help from the Centre.

“The state government will help the farmers fully. There is no point in sending a report to the Centre and waiting eternally for the central team to arrive. No one knows when the teams will arrive. The teams may come after it is too late,” he said.

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Expresses displeasure on Centre

The chief minister expressed displeasure over the Centre for not having any policies that help the farmers whenever they face colossal losses due to calamities.

“There are no new initiatives. The Centre is continuing the time-worn policies. They have been in force only to help the insurance companies. They do not help the farmers,” KCR said in Khammam.

He said that even if the state seeks any help, the pleas always fall on the deaf ears. The hailstorm that hit the state now underscores the need for the state to have new policies for the agriculture sector.

“The present central government is neck deep in politics all the time. It has no time for farmers or people. That is why we have decided not to send any report as a mark of protest,” he said, adding that the state would go to the farmers’ rescue as it has enough resources.

‘Centre’s compensation is paltry’

He said the Centre’s compensation to farmers is always very paltry. At the most, it pays ₹3,333 per acre for maize, ₹5,400 for paddy and ₹7,200 for mango.

This is what the Centre had said in its famine code. “This is a pittance. It would not help the farmers in any way,” he said.

Asserting that the agriculture sector in the state was better off compared to other states as the schemes that are implemented in Telangana are first-of-its-kind, in the world.

The sector is slowly becoming stable and the farmer is slowly freeing himself from the shackles of usury.

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‘Telangana tops in agri sector’

He said there were people who always call agriculture an exercise in futility. Unfortunately, they include economists also.

“I am saying with immense pride that Telangana occupies the no.1 position in the country in agriculture. The per capita income of the state is ₹3,05,000 which is higher than in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu,” he said.

The chief minister pointed out that per capita income would increase when the GSDP picks up and it is no secret that agriculture claims a lion’s share in the GSDP of Telangana, adding that sometimes it went even up to 21 percent though on average it was about 16 percent.

“The state would not allow the agriculture sector to collapse. It would stand in the forefront and hand-hold it in times of need,” he said.

In his tour of the affected areas in Khammam district, he was accompanied by CPI and CPI(M) leaders, state Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy and Minister from the district Ajay Kumar.

Minister Satyanvathi Rathod was also present as Mahabubabad is contiguous to the Khammam district.