(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 3, 2013
Seb Utpadak Sangh Demands Compensation to Farmers
THE Himachal Seb Utpadak Sangh in a statement issued by its president, Rakesh Singha on January 30, 2013 has stated, the snowfall on January 17-18, 2013 has caused huge loss to the horticulture industry in the state. The snowfall has resulted in uprooting and breaking of apple, apricot and peach trees in Shimla, Kinnaur, Kullu, Mandi, Lahaul Spitti, Sirmour, Kangra and Chamba districts. The loss is estimated to be more than one thousand crore of rupees. On the elevation between 7,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level, the destruction to apricot and peach trees varies between 90 to 100 per cent and to apple trees between 40 to 70 per cent.
The Seb Utpadak Sangh, after conducting a preliminary survey has stated the backbone of the small and marginal farmers has been broken. The horticulture department knows very well a seedling plant of apple takes 10 to 12 years to give sample production and a farmer has to make huge investment till then. The gestation period is even more than that of hydel projects.
The survey being conducted by the government, to assess the loss to the farmers by the destruction to apple and other fruit trees must be carried out on scientific basis and the farmer must be associated in the survey being conducted. The proforma to assess the loss to the fruit trees must specifically state the age of the plant, whether the damaged tree was fruit bearing or not, and the quantity of fruit produced by it. The survey must be conducted by taking the photographs of the broken and uprooted trees and also the signature of the farmer be recorded so that he knows that the loss has been assessed.
The Seb Utpadak Sangh has asked the government to suspend the recovery of KCC (Kisan Credit Card) loans for a period of one year. The farmer is not in a position to pay the loan amount as his economy has collapsed completely.
The Seb Utpadak Sangh has stated the government must complete the survey by February 29 and the farmers must be compensated by March 15, 2013. Failure to compensate the loss to the farmers by March 15, the Seb Utpadak Sangh will launch a struggle throughout the state, for appropriate compensation.