PM and HM should intervene to save arecanut growers : Poojari

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) Senior Congress MP and former Union Minister B Janardhana Poojari today sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil to extend rehabilitation measures to flood-affected arecanut growers in Dakshina Kannada and other districts of Karnataka.

In his personal and identical letters to the PM and other Union Ministers, Mr Poojari said the most serious monsoons in Karnataka had caused heavy loss of lives, agricultural crops and properties in the state which had received 160 mm of rainfall as against a normal rainfall of 75 mm. The coastal and Malnad regions of the state have received heaviest rainfall in the season. The heavy floods had marooned several districts resulting in the loss of 43 lives and perishing of 4,750 cattle besides damaging 84,000 houses.

Mr Poojari said thousands of acres of land under arecanut plantations in the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, Udupi and Kodagu were heavily inundated. Many of the farmers had lost the standing arecanut crops and had burnt down the affected trees and were on the brink of commiting suicide unable to meet financial commitments.

This being the case, the PM and other leaders should intervene and provide immediate assistance and compensation to affected growers and accord generous support price for the salvaged arecanuts. The loans should be rescheduled and interests waived by the banks, he demanded.


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