Bargarh farmers stage blockade for better deal

A Day after farmers from Western Odisha staged a demonstration in front of the office of RDC (North) at Sambalpur protesting indifferent attitude of the State Government, hundreds of farmers from Bargarh block under the banner of Bargarh Anchalika Chasi Sangathan blocked the NH-6 at Chakarkend for four hours on Friday demanding a better deal from the Government.

They also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through Bargarh Tehsildar Jyoti Prakash Mohapatra over their long-pending demands. The blockade was called off after Mohapatra assured the protestors to take up their demands with the authorities concerned.

The road blockade brought traffic on the busy NH connecting Kolkata and Mumbai to a grinding halt while commercial and heavy vehicles were stranded on either side of the blockade. Movement of traffic between Bargarh and Sohela was also affected.

In the memorandum, farmers claimed that they are yet to get insurance amount against crop loss of last kharif season despite paying premium. Similarly, the State Government is yet to disburse the drought assistance of `100 per quintal of paddy as declared by the Chief Minister, they said.

Admitting that the farmers of the block have received the promised input subsidy, they said there is no sight of crop bonus yet. Although a survey was undertaken to assess the loss jointly by Agriculture, Co-operative and Revenue departments, they are yet to get their insurance against crop loss, the farmers alleged.

Apprehending a repeat situation with scanty rainfall reported in the district, they requested the Chief Minister to expedite payment of insurance and identify drought-hit areas to facilitate payment of financial assistance to farmers. Terming the demands as ‘genuine’, they have urged the State Government to take immediate steps to save farmers and farming.

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