Posts filed under ‘Farmer Suicide’

40% paddy crop of deceased Balangir farmer damaged

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Preliminary reports suggest that at least 30 to 40 per cent of paddy crop of Baldev Barik, the farmer who committed suicide, were damaged by pest attack, said Revenue Minister Surjya Narayn Patro speaking to mediapersons on Wednesday evening after presiding over the district Planning Board meeting here.

The deceased farmer besides cultivating in his own land had also taken others land on sharing basis, he said further. The district administration has given an assistance of Rs 10,000 to the family and widow pension to his wife, the Minister informed.

“Every year the crop cutting report is usually available by January. This year I have asked the departments to prepare and submit the report by November 15 so that necessary action is taken. We are waiting for the final report Minister,” said further.

As per the relief code compensation is given to farmers. If the crop loss of a village is more than 50 per cent, Rs 4,000 compensation is given per hectare. In case of non-irrigated land, the compensation amount is Rs 2,000 per hectare.

Rs 26.40 crore planning for assistance from Backward Region Grant fund was approved for the district, informed the Minister.

The approved plan would be sent to the Centre out of which 30 per cent would be spent in the urban areas and the rest 70 per cent in the rural areas. Besides this, Rs 1.50 crore for each 14 blocks have also been approved from Biju KBK Yojana. Out of the Rs 1.50 crore, 50 lakh for each block have also been approved. Out of the 3,641 people applied for pattas under the Forest Rights Act, 2,640 people have been given pattas and forest land of 1520 hectares has been given. So far the revenue collections of the district have touched 60.54 per cent.

A total of 3,135 encroachment cases have been registered in urban areas while 1,898 encroachment cases have been registered in the rural areas, the Minister informed further.

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November 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

KDDF appeals to President and PM of India and CM of Odisha to take action to stop farmer suicide

To

Dear Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Patil,

Copy to:

Honorable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Singh;

Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. N. Patnaik;

Honorable Chief Justice of India;

Smt Sonia Gandhi;

Shri L.K. Advani;

MPs and MLAs of Odisha;

Press

Dear Hon’ble President of India, Smt. Patil,

We the general public and intelligentsia of backward, tribal and Maoist infested area of India i.e. Western part of Odisha, which is historically known as Koshal are disheartened and hurt due to recent farmers’ death in the region in daily basis.

Odisha state Government is unable and unwilling to take appropriate step to address the problem, especially when the interest of Koshal region comes due to step-motherly attitude towards the region. The unwillingness of political leadership and govt. officials is because of grafting huge fundings from these mining and metallurgical industries.

To unveil few facts and circumstances for your kind attention and adequate action, we beg to state that, Koshal region had been a prosperous land with abundant natural resources and self sufficient economy. Flood was not known to Koshal region as it is situated on Eastern Ghat, which is hilly area and have natural drainage system. However, there were many occasions of draughts due to lack of proper irrigation. In spite of that it had been a heaven for tribal people for centuries.

Hirakud dam and other dams were built by the Govt. primarily to decrease the damage by flood in Coastal Odisha and secondarily to facilitate irrigation in Koshal region (Western Odisha including KBK). As most of the dams were built in Western Odisha, many villages were displaced and many people lost their natural habitat. Moreover the displaced people were kept away from due compensation for their irreparable damage. The act of displacing people without adequate compensation and forcing them to live in pity for generations is blatant violation of Right to Life conferred by Constitution of India and Human Rights.

The displaced people settled in places near Hirakud Dam such as in Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Bargarh districts. After losing their land and not being compensated said displaced people bought land and lived on small income generated from their small land holdings. Irrigation and rain saved these people from facing severe draught like situation for years.

Forest coverage of the catchment area of Hirakud Dam which lies mostly in Chhattisgarh, has declined drastically which is evident from browsing catchment area of the Hirakud on Google Earth. Most of the perenial water sources and streams come from the Bauxite holding Mountains due to the water affinity of the mineral.  As bauxite and iron ores are being extracted, the water holding capacity of these have declined causing siltation, flash floods etc during rain and draught during summer.  Adding to it unsustainable industrialization and use of water resources by Industry the irrigation in this region has suffered. High level of Pollution due to many small and large industries along with an ineffective, corrupt Pollution Control Board; and indiscriminate deforestation has decreased precipitation and has increased diseases leading either to decrease in yield or loss of crop.

The State Government had given false assurance to the Koshal region farmers that irrigation in the Hirakud command area will not be adversely affected by industrialization, nevertheless the government has taken all steps to facilitate use of water by Industry which is actually meant for farmers. Though the Industries have huge financial resources to make their own water bodies or to increase the water holding capacity of Hirakud the govt. has not taken a step for it, rather left the poor farmers to suffer for their innocence in believing the State Government.

According to survey conducted by Pune-based National Centre for Advocacy Studies  and Government’s reply in the Assembly, in just two years from 1998-’99 to 2000-’01 rabi irrigation potential has shrunk by 18.48 per cent in the command area. Prior to the pre-April 1997 period, water withdrawal permission to industries from Hirakud was just 71,252 lakh gallons per year (LGY), which was only 13.2 per cent of the total industrial water use permission granted in Odisha. Now the Government of Odisha have permitted to use 5,04,431.2 LGY water from Hirakud which was 26.3 per cent of the total withdrawal permission. After the formation of Water Allocation Committee industrial water allocation from the reservoir has gone up to 31.45 percent total water burden of industries. Development Support Centre, Ahmedabad has found that in the tail-end of the designated command area 82 per cent are not getting water even today. So, Hirakud dam is no more solving the purpose of irrigation rather solving the purposes of Industries.

Step-motherly attitude of Government of Odisha and no step for irrigation, sustainable development, exploitation, no crop insurance, no easy finance etc. have brought this level of disparity and frustration that the farmers have no other way but to commit suicide. More interestingly few leaders of ruling BJD party have tried to paint it in different colours without even properly investigating into the matter, and are trying to escape from their responsibility.

Keeping in view of above facts and circumstances we beg your kind intervention in this matter for finding out a plausible solution and take immediate action.

We propose following solutions for your kind consideration:

  1. Water tax can be levied on industries, which  can be spent for the purpose of desiltation of Hirakud and capacity building.
  2. Govt. builds a small dam for disiltation purpose before Hirakud. Two Geologists from IIT Roorkee and Sambalpur University have strongly recommended for it. The proposed dam will have very small capacity enough to keep water for 24-48 hours, so that the sediments will deposit and the velocity of water is decreased. It will increase the life of Hirakud Dam and solve the problem of siltation and sedimentation.
  3. Each industry has to make a water bodies by water harvesting (internally and externally) or by small dams or by barrages of the double the capacity as that of its per annum use in Koshal area. (e.g. Small barrages can be built near Saintala, Jarsingha, Kesinga, Borda etc. )
  4. Completion of Upper Indravati Project in Kalahandi, Lower Indra Irrigation Project in Nuapada, Lower Suktel proejct in Balangir on urgent basis. A revolving citizens forum should be formed to see progress of such type of irrigation project. The citizen forum should be an independent body to investigate, communicate and reccomend to State govt. and Central Govt.
  5. One central independent commission (comprising at least one Supreme Court Judge and three technical experts) and they investigate and give the eco-sustainability report of existing or proposed industries. The central commission also investigate whether the industries have adhered to MOUs in words and spirit and whether State Govt. has taken appropriate steps to mitigate the problems of farmers.
  6. All the farmers of Koshal be provided with Crop Insurance, Life Insurance and Health Insurance. The payment of premium can be shared between Central Govt., State Govt, Industries and farmers.
  7. A Tribal & Agriculture centrally funded university be set up in Bhawanipatna or Bolangir, and any such institute can have a substantial contribution from industries like Vedanta and Bhusan.

Thanking you with best regards,

Members of Koshal Discussion and Development Forum (KDDF),

Members of Juhar New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Berhampur and Bhubaneswar,

Members of VSS Parivar & well wishers

November 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

Farming and farmers are neglected in Balangir: A report on farmer suicide

Following report is from expressbuzz.com:

Suicide of farmers has brought the neglect of agriculture in agrarian Balangir district into sharp focus. Farmers said it only shows how the State Government is paying lip service to farming.

The district hit headlines when cotton farmer Gangaram committed suicide in Katapali village in 2007. A year later, Akrura Sahu, a farmer, consumed poison and ended his life in Patnagarh sub-division. Loan burden haunted him and he took the extreme step unable to bear the family burden.

The latest is Baldeb Barik of Kesheikela village whose suicide has stirred the Agriculture Department from its slumber. In the preliminary inquiry report, the death has been attributed to pest menace leading to crop damage.

With a major part of the district reeling under drought, farmers, who constitute 80 percent of the population, a majority being marginal ones, are left to fend for themselves. Irrigation facilities are non-existent in the district. Except farmers of irrigated area, which is only four percent of the total area, the rest depend on rain to raise their crops .Though there are lift and minor irrigation projects apart from deep bore wells, these are rarely helpful to sustain major crops.

Every time a farmer is reported dead, nothing tangible follows except the ritual – filing of reports by officials. The politicians too make a hue and cry till the issue remains in public memory.

BJP State president Suresh Pujari bluntly said the attention of State Government has shifted from agriculture to industry and there is no hope for the farmers in western Orissa.“Irrigation coverage should increase in western Orissa. Government is running after industry and in the process welfare of marginal farmers has been overlooked,” said Pujari.

He said even small irrigation projects can serve the purpose. As regards to pest menace, official records reveal that crops in 476 hectare in Balangir sub-division alone have been damaged. Against this background, the tall claims of Agriculture Department that enough has been done to control pest menace look hollow. As per official records, 1,79,198 hectare land have been cultivated in kharif this year which is only half of the total land in the district.

Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) Manoranjan Mallik said Agriculture Department is doing its bit to improve farming. However, he said a lot of factors makes a good crop and that has to be taken into consideration.

November 9, 2009 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

Farmer suicide:Odisha the next Vidharva of India

Watch this Video from CNN-IBN:

 

November 8, 2009 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

Farmer suicides in Balangir and Boudh district

Following is a report from KalingaTimes:

As Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was trying hard to maintain his televised clean image which he had created by his self-devised media management plan, three more farmers allegedly committed suicide in the state on Thursday.

The three suicides were reported from Balangir, Boudh and Cuttack districts, taking the total number of alleged suicides by farmers to 19 during the past four weeks.

The farmers who committed suicides by consuming pesticides were Baldeb Barik of Keseipalli village of Balangir district; Ugrasen Mahananda of Khatkhatia of Boudh district; and Dhanu Champia of Balisamla village near Salepur in Cuttack district.

Initial reports indicated that the three farmers committed suicide as they had lost all hope of a good harvest owing to loss of crop due to prolonged dry spell and pest attack.

Also the loans that they had obtained from banks, cooperative societies and others had driven them to end their lives, reports indicated.

Interestingly, on his return from New Delhi Patnaik claimed that his government was taking up many pro-farmer schemes and was taking a series of measures to improve irrigation facility for the benefit of the farmers.

Patnaik, whose government had been showing more interest to serve the big business houses, was apparently blissfully ignorant that he had been in power since 2000 and had never thought of adding to the state’s irrigation potential all these years.

The farmer suicides were taking place at a time when a discredited Congress and a faction-ridden Bharatiya Janata Party were unable to make it an issue.

The districts from where farmer suicides had reported so far include Nawarangpur, Ganjam, Nuapada, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Balasore and Cuttack

November 7, 2009 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Farmers of Western Odisha in the tight grip of drought

Following is a report from The Dharitri:

20091105-Dharitri

November 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

Farmer suicide rocks western Odisha; now it is in Birmaharajpur, Subarnapur

Following foto is from The Dharitri:

Farmer Suicide BM Pur

Following is a report from The Times of India:

Yet another debt-ridden farmer committed suicide in Birmaharajpur area of Subarnapur district on Saturday night. Prior to this, at least six farmers in western Orissa had killed themselves in the current kharif season. Kartik Mahakud (60) of Karnapali village of Birmaharajpur sub-division allegedly consumed poison and died.

The incident severely affected traffic on Sambalpur-Sonepur Road on Sunday afternoon, as both Congress and BJP workers blocked the road, demanding justice for the farmers. Carrying Mahakud’s body, they de-manded adequate compensation for the family of the deceased farmer. They called off the agitation after Subarnapur additional district magistrate Gangadhar Mahandanda assured villagers of appropriate action to help the victim’s family.

Sources said Mahakud of Karnapali was a renowned farmer of the locality. He owned five acres of land. But that was not sufficient to maintain his big family. Mahakud has two sons and five daughters. Of them, he had managed to get one of his sons and four of his daughters married. “He was a good and sincere farmer, but was troubled over severe crop damage this year,” a villager Rabi Sahu said.

Sources said the deceased had consumed some poisonous substance on Saturday night. He was found in a critical condition by villagers the fol-lowing morning and taken to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police have registered an unnatural death case and handed over the body to his family on Sunday, after conducting an autopsy.

“We have registered a case and handed the body over to his family, after conducting an autopsy,” a senior police officer of the district said. How-ever, police could not identifythe substance he had consumed to commit suicide. “We are not sure whether it was pesticide or something else. We will know after we get the post mortem report,” police added.

But, the district administration followed their usual agenda of denying any links of the suicide to debts or crop loss. “Since the harvesting is yet to start in the locality, how can a farmer assume the quantity of his paddy production. I do not thing the cause has any link with crop loss or debts,” collector (Sonepur) Bhawani Prasad Panda said. “But, I have send my ADM to review the situation and submit a report in this issue,” Panda added.

Incidentally Pandab Bhoi (38) of Rengali block committed suicide on August 12, Gourahari Patra (48) of Lakhanpur block on October 4, and Bidyadhar Bagh (40) of Rengali block on October 7. On October 18, An-gad Barik (65) of Jamenkira block committed suicide by jumping in front a running train.

Similarly, Kusha Majhi of Tarbode (Nuapara) and Maharshee Narang of Hemgir (Sundergarh) had committed for the same reason. Three other farmers from coastal and southern Orissa had committed suicide over the past one week.

November 2, 2009 at 9:09 am Leave a comment

A detail report on suicide of farmer Kushadhwaja Majhi of Tarbod village, Nuapada

Following is a report from the expressbuzz.com:

Poverty and penury followed Kushadhwaja Majhi (38), the landless tribal of village Tarbod in Komna block, like a shadow forcing him to commit suicide. He committed suicide late on the night of October 25 by hanging himself from the roof.

Such was the necessity for money that Majhi, father of four sons, forced his wife to undergo tubectomy so that the money from the operation could be utilised to open an account to facilitate transfer of funds allotted to him for a house under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY).

But the money reached late. His widow, Jeema, was handed over Rs 600 on October 28 besides Rs 10,000 under the National Family Benefit Scheme on Monday. His sons aged between ten and three months.

His precarious financial condition became more evident when the NREGS job card issued to him revealed that he had got employment for 12 and 15 days each in 2006. While he had worked under the scheme from March 22, 2006 to April 3, 2006 and again from May 11, 2006 to May 25, 2006, the job card reflects no entries after the period. However, being a BPL card holder, he has been receiving 25 kg of Rs 2 kg rice which would have been just sufficient to keep the family of six alive.

However, unlike in other districts, the district administration has been quick in rushing aid with the District Collector Bishnu Prasad Panda assuring to sanction Widow Pension immediately and directing to shift his two sons Janmajaya (10), Ghanashyam (8) studying in Class 6 and 5 respectively to nearby Jatagarh Sevashram School while the third boy would be enrolled in the local anganwadi centre.

However, Komna BDO Bisawa Ranjan Nayak, who had attributed the death to poverty and penury informed that Majhi never applied for employment under NREGS in 2007-08 and 2008-09. But district Congress committee president Bhanu Prakash Joshi denied the claim and said though he had applied for work, no work was provided to him. He had taken three acres on lease from Amar Pradhan of the village to cultivate paddy but with crop failing, he was under severe pressure as how to repay the promised paddy against the land.

October 31, 2009 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

Farmer suicide rocks Odisha; now it is in Sambalpur

Following is a report from Odisha Today.com:

The Naveen Patnaik Government in Orissa has again dragged into controversy after reports of farmer suicide in western part of the State.

Bidyadhar Bag (50) of Khapsadera village in Tamparkela Gram Panchayat under Rengali block took away his life as his crop was badly affected by pests.

This was the third death in quick intervals in the undivided Sambalpur district. The first one was reported in Bargarh district followed by Jharsuguda and finally the third one in Sambalpur district.

Sources said Bidyadhar has only 40 decimal (0.40 acres) of arable land and he cultivated three acres on rent. After returning from the field he informed his wife and family members that the paddy had been affected by pests.

Enraged at Bidyadhar’s ‘lackadaisical attitude’, his wife charged him with not taking proper care of the crop. This upset Bidyadhar who went to the market and on the plea of purchasing some medicines consumed pesticide and committed suicide.

The farmer was immediately rushed to Sambalpur Sadar hospital, but doctors declared him brought dead. Bidyadhar is survived by wife and three children.

Sambalpur District Collector Pradipta Kumar Pattnaik assured some help to the deceased’s family from the district Red Cross fund.

Sub-collector and other staff of Revenue and Agriculture department who visited the spot claimed that Bidyadhar’s crop failure was totally due to his lack of care.

October 29, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

Odisha CM silence on farmers’ suicide

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

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

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