Source: The Hindu :-
Farmers protesting against the delay in drought relief steps in Bidar on Friday.— Photo: Gopichand T.
Members of farmers’ associations protested against district in-charge Minister Umashree, demanding immediate drought relief measures in the district.
The protesters were waiting at the Bidar Fort and met the Minister, who was on her way to the Zilla Panchayat. Their leaders made speeches, submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister, and dispersed.
Mallikarjun Swamy, farmers’ leader, complained that the government had completely neglected farmers. He criticised the government for its failure to start drought relief works in north Karnataka.
“We are dying here, but the government in Bengaluru is yet to decide on whether drought should be declared,” he said.
He demanded hiking the crop-loss compensation amount to Rs. 1 lakh per acre. His demands included easy access to loans, subsidies for farm inputs such as seed and fertilizers, higher remuneration for farm produce, protective irrigation, and universal crop insurance. He suggested promotion of solar energy, taking up cloud-seeding to get rains, and support to sugar factories to start crushing from the next season.
Sri Shivakumar Shivacharya Swami said it was the responsibility of the State and society to prevent farmers’ suicides. He said the government had to act immediately and address the agrarian crisis.
Ms. Umashree promised to convey their demands to the Chief Minister. Later, she said the government was collecting data from all taluks before taking a decision on declaring drought. Revenue Minister V. Srinivas Prasad is meeting officials at the division levels, she said.
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