Odisha CM silence on farmers’ suicide

October 29, 2009 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Following is a report from Tathya.in:

“Not a word on farmers’ suicide”, revealed a top mandarin. There was eerie silence on the issue of train of farmers’ suicide continuing unabated in Orissa.

Chief Minister chaired the marathon meeting, which continued nearly for two hours. Neither Naveen Pantaik nor his Minister Agriculture Damodar Rout even uttered a word on the unabated farmers’ suicide issue.

As for the State Government, which is on defensive over the sad untimely deaths of farmers- the issue just do not exist, admitted another mandarin.The meeting was held to discuss the long term and short term measures to tackle the “deficient rainfall”.

Tarun Kanti Mishra, Chief Secretary, Satya Prakash Nanda, Development Commissioner and army of Secretaries of various departments were present. Bijay Kumar Patnaik Principal Secretary to Chief Minister was also present.

Interestingly Rabi Narayan Senapati, Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), who has investigated the farmers’ suicide, reeled out suggestions on both long term and short term measures to be taken up during next five years.

Six-Point Agenda consisting of creation of large scale farm ponds, activating lift irrigation points, rejuvenating Minor Irrigation schemes, renovation of drainage channels, creation of water harvesting structures were discussed at length, said an official.

He said it was decided to spend Rs.1000 crore to harvest water by erecting 20,000 water harvesting structures (WHS)for farmers through State Watershed Mission in next 5 years.

However no body bothered asking whether the Mission is in a position to handle this amount of heavy load with an inefficient officers and system in place.

Similarly the Orissa Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC), which is in a moribund state was asked to revitalize the LI points and provide water to the farmers in Rabi Season. Thanks, ‘Pani Panchayat movement’, OLIC has turned as a ‘defunct organization’ and thriving on ‘saline of doles’ from the Government. So the Secretary Water Resources asked for Rs.50 crore support to energize the defunct LI points.

On NREGS front, Orissa is performing poorly.

So the meeting decided to utilize funds of NREGS in taking up repairing of drainage channels of MIPs and LIPs. Investment to the tune of Rs.300 crore has been envisaged for the purpose.

One lakh farm ponds are to be excavated every year with an investment of Rs.300 crore in the state.

“Only talks and it was a talked out affair”, “ so nothing special about it” revealed an insider under condition of anonymity

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Entry filed under: Agriculture and Irrigation, Farmer Suicide.

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