No mention of Sambalpur in drought-hit list

Resentment is brewing among the farmers of Sambalpur district after the State Government excluded it from the drought-hit districts’ list.

Despite the fact that large tracts of agricultural land are under Hirakud Command Area, there is no denying that in the last kharif season untimely rains and pest attacks had hit the farmers badly. Drought had devastated hundreds of others in the non-irrigated belts of the district.

The Sambalpur Zilla Krushak Surakhya Sangathan convened an emergency meeting on Sunday where they castigated the lopsided decision of the State Government.

Presiding over the meeting, farmer leader Murari Prasad Purohit said there was no irrigation facility in the seven out of nine blocks of the district. It is unfortunate that not a single block of the district had been considered drought-affected though all the seven blocks were drought-hit.

The State Government is apathetic to the district, Revenue and Agriculture departments and district statistical authorities.

The members castigated the silence and indifference of the elected representatives to the injustice meted out to the farmers. They questioned the decision to reduce paddy procurement target in the kharif season and said it was indicative of low yield and drought.

They were also critical of non-payment of crop insurance amount, compensation against pest attack and untimely rain in the recent past.

Meanwhile, farmers of Rengali block have resolved to go on a fast unto death agitation over the issue on April 5 while farmers of Jamankira are already on a mass demonstration from Monday protesting delay in payment of crop insurance money.

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