Buldhana (Vidarbha): Ramesh Kakade is among the close to 100 farmers in Buldhana district in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra who are struggling after their yield was destroyed by wild animals two year ago. But he was hopeful that after the Government surveys were conducted to assess the loss, he would be duly compensated.
However, his hopes were completely misplaced. All he received was Rs 13 in compensation. "I received a cheque for just Rs 13. What kind of cruel joke is this?" he demanded. These farmers who have been handed out the cheques will have to shell out more than their compensation amount to encash them.
"The forest department gave us cheques ranging from Rs 13 to Rs 16 to Rs 20 — this after our fields were damaged," says Kakade. A total of 343 farmers had applied for the compensation for which cheques totaling Rs 1.43 lakh were distributed. Out of these, 100 cheques are for the sums ranging from Rs 8 to Rs 20.
However, Government authorities say they are not accepting the theory that wild animals have caused the damage. District Forest Officer Buldhana, Sanjeev Godh says, "The compensation is Rs 2,000 per hectare, which works out to Rs 20 per sq meter, but then again the whole field doesn't always get damaged."
In the wake of this incident, it seems that the Government is only rubbing salt into the farmers' wounds.