Bhubaneswar, Oct 29: Amidst a state-wide chaos over suicides by farmers allegedly due to crop loss and loan burden, Odisha government today said it is probing causes of 41 such cases, even as the number of districts hit by drought increased to 21.
"We have received reports on 41 farmer suicide cases. The government has been probing into causes of such farmer suicide incidents. Now it is not right to say the exact cause of farmers suicide," special relief commissioner (SRC) GVV Sarma told reporters.
The 41 farmers' deaths have been reported from 15 districts of the state. Stating that district collectors have already sent their reports on the death of 41 farmers, Sarma said the government's priority was now to tackle the situation arising out of the dry spell condition.
Different departments have been directed to work in coordination to face the drought situation that has gripped 139 of the total 314 blocks in the state, spread over 21 districts, where crop loss was 33 per cent or more based on the eye estimation reports.
"Eye estimation on crop loss was done as per the guideline of the Odisha Relief Code. The affected farmers would be given agriculture input subsidy based on the final crop cutting report," Sarma said.
The SRC mentioned that each affected farmer would be identified and his/her loss would be estimated as per the guidelines of State Disaster Response Fund.
On the farmers suicide allegedly due to loan burden, Sarma said the police and district administration have been told to keep a vigil on the local money lenders.
Action would be taken against the money lenders operating in villages without valid license, he said.