Bhopal, Feb 24 (UNI) About 1700 farmers have threatened to commit suicide in Petlawad block in the tribal-dominated Jhabua district in western Madhya Pradesh following harassment by bank officials for recovery of loans granted for failed minor irrigation projects, the Assembly was informed today.
Dr Govind Singh(Cong) and Dr Sunilam (Samajwadi Party), who raised the issue through a call attention notice, said the harassed farmers, in a letter to the President of India, had sought permission for committing suicide.
Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, in his reply, announced that efforts would be made to revive the irrigation schemes as 81 of the total 208 schemes had failed.
Technical fault, lack of maintenance, drying up of water sources and non-payment of electricity bills were the main factors for the failure of the minor lift irrigation schemes launched in 81 villages, he said.
He said a committee, led by Petlawad sub-divisional magistrate, was inquiring into the reasons for the failure of the schemes and loan recovery by cooperative bank would remain suspended till the inquiry was completed. The government was not negligent on the issue, he said, adding the inquiry team would contact the farmers also.
Mr Tomar said the cost of minor lift irrigation schemes came at Rs 19,000 per hectare, much lower than the schemes implemented by the Water Resources department.
Dr Sunilam said the Gram Sabhas in 23 villages had adopted proposals for reviving the schemes.
UNI SP YA RK1512