Not possible to manage drought with mere talks, distribute relief immediately:Basavaraj Bommai

Dr.Thomas (Special Correspondent)

Bommai warns of stir if Shiggaon,Hangal,and Byadgi taluks not declared drought-hit: Bommai

Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai urged the State government to distribute drought relief money among farmers instead of mere talks regarding the management of drought.

Participating in an agitation in Shiggaon organized by farmers demanding that the taluk be declared as drought-hit on Saturday,he said the government was dragging its feet in declaring drought-taluk taluks and 195 taluks have been declared drought-hit in September.

In Haveri,Shiggaon,Hangal,and Byadgi taluks must be declared as drought-hit on Monday failing which agitation would be launched along with farmers.

Already, he has spoken to the Revenue Minister who has promised to announce the same by the end of this month after studying the yardsticks.But,he had told the minister not to wait till the month as the government must consider the withering of crops for want of water as drought and make an announcement accordingly.

The minister has responded positively and was optimistic that it would be announced soon.In case it was not done,the agitation would be launched along with farmers after October 9.

Distribute relief immediately

The former CM said it was not enough for the government to just declare drought taluks but it has to take up drought relief works such as arranging fodder and drinking water for people and animals.

The state government should immediately release the compensation money.Drought cannot be solved by mere words.

The Government of India has already allocated Rs.250 crore in the first installment.Since crores of rupees were available in the PD accounts of deputy commissioners,the same must be used to spend on drought relief works.

The farmers should be given crop compensation first. The farmer has already sown twice and suffered losses.Compensation should be released to them immediately.

Let the drought study and survey be done later.The first duty of the government is to convert the short-term and medium-term loans made by the farmers into long-term loans and also distribute fresh loans.

Bommai said when they were in power,the flood-ravaged many districts.At that time they did not point fingers at the central government but immediately released Rs.2,500 crore compensation and distributed it within a month.

While the Government of India has fixed Rs.6,000 per acre as relief for dry land farming, the state government paid Rs.13,000 per acre; Rs.25,000 per acre for irrigated land as against Rs.13000 fixed by the Central Government; Rs.28,000 per acre for horticulture crops as against Rs.18,000 per acre.

No criteria or yardstick came in the way.The government must have a large heart and a good mindset to distribute compensation to farmers.