Pondy: Compensation to farmers in 10 days

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Puducherry, Apr 9: The territorial administration is taking steps to provide compensation for the crops lost in the recent rain in ten days, Agriculture Minister V Vaithilingam told the Legislative Assemby today.

Replying to a calling attention motion on the relief measures to farmers to mitigate their sufferings tabled by several members, Mr Vaithilingam said Karaikal region of the Union Territory had received 222.1 mm rainfall from March 11 to 23 and Puducherry 199.3 mm during the same period.

The usual rainfall during the month of March was 15.4 mm in Puducherry and 18.2 mm in Karaikal. Crops in 5,577 hectares in Karaikal and 2,185 hectares in Puducherry, were damaged in the rain, he informed.

The administration intends to provide Rs 7,500 per hectare of paddy and a compensation ranging from Rs 2000 to 4000 for other crops, including pulses. A survey on the damages was taken and a report prepared was sent to the Centre for financial assistance. A Central team would visit Puducherry soon, he added.

The Minister said the administration had provided an immediate relief of Rs 1,000 per hectare of crops lost in the rain during December last year and steps would be taken to compensate the loss on par with the amount given by Tamil Nadu.

Several members, including Leader of the Opposition A M H Nazeem and AIADMK member A Anbazhagan wanted the government to enhance the compensation quantum. Pointing out that ministers and officials had failed to visit the affected areas immediately as done by Tamil Nadu Ministers, they said instead the ministers were camping in Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi.

At one stage, the House plunged into noisy scenes with Welfare Minister M Kandasamy, rising to his feet and said he had visited his Bahour constituency and Mr Vaithilingam visiting Karaikal region.

''We want to serve the people and do not want to practice ''Show Politics.'' The remark of Mr Kandasamy drew protest from the DMK members and S P Sivakumar of the party was seen arguing with the minister whether the visit of Congress leaders, including AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi was ''show politics.'' Speaker R Radhakrishnan pacified the members stating that he would not allow any more discussion on the issue and invited Mr Vaithilingam to give the reply.

However, CPI member R Viswanathan and Mr Nazeem urged Speaker to expunge the remarks made by Mr Kandasamy, which was not considered by Mr Radhakrishnan.

UNI

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