Telangana: High Court asks state to compensate farmers on crop loss

The crop loss of more than 33% yield in 15 lakh acres amounted to Rs 7219.5 crores in the floods of 2020.

Hyderabad:  The high court of Telangana issued a judgment on Tuesday in connection with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) case on the issue of compensating farmers for crop loss in the floods of September and October 2020.

The case was filed in November 2020 on behalf of Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV) by Vissa Kirankumar, Kanneganti Ravi, and S Ashalatha. Despite sufficient reporting that 25 lakh acres of crops suffered damage in the heavy rains and floods of October 2020, the state government did not take any steps to provide relief assistance to the affected farmers which the Rythu Swarajya Vedika argue necessitated the PIL.

The crop loss of more than 33% yield in 15 lakh acres amounted to Rs 7219.5 crores in the floods of 2020. In connection with the same, the court ordered the government to distribute disaster compensation to all affected farmers including tenant farmers, to be completed within 3 months.

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“The government’s own submission to the Centre in October 2020 stated that severe crop loss occurred but despite the acknowledgment, they tried to wriggle out of their responsibility by stating that there was no crop damage,” said Vissa Kirankumar, one of the petitioners.

The RSV also demanded that the government should implement the order immediately in true spirit alongside demanding that farmers affected by this year’s rains should be enumerated immediately.

In its final judgment, the High Court bench headed by Acting Chief Justice MS Ramachandra Rao was critical of the state government for its failure to provide compensation to farmers from the Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF/SDRF) and its failure to implement any crop insurance scheme in the state, and granted the major prayers of the petitioners.

The Court also directed the government to take steps within one month to extend assistance from NDRF/SDRF under National Disaster Management Act 2005 to all the affected farmers including tenant farmers across the state of Telangana. In addition, the Court also ordered the state to provide additional and appropriate relief to the small and marginal cultivating farmers of Telangana who suffered huge economic loss in the absence of Crop insurance coverage, within 4 months.

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