CHANDIGARH, MARCH 4
Haryana Revenue and Disaster Management Minister, Mr Mahender Pratap Singh today said in the ongoing session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha here today that pursuant to the reports of crop damage received from the Deputy Commissioners, they have been instructed to get special Girdawari conducted in order to assess damage to crops due to rains and hailstorm.
He said that the special Girdawari is expected to be completed within two-three weeks. Compensation will be paid shortly to the affected farmers as per relief norms fixed by the State Government which are higher than the relief norms fixed by the Central Government.
Mr Mahender Pratap Singh said that Agriculture Department has estimated the area damaged under various crops in various districts. Major damage has been reported to wheat crop in Sirsa, Panipat, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Palwal and Jind and also damage has occurred in mustard crop in the districts of Sirsa, Gurgaon, Panipat, Jhajjar and Palwal. Fodder crops have seen minor damage in Jind district.
Mr Mahender Pratap Singh was replying to the calling attention notices submitted by MLAs namely Mr Sampat Singh, Mr Parminder Singh Dhull, Mr Naseem Ahmed, Mr Mohammed lliyas, Mr Kali Ram Patwari and Mr Dharam Pal Obra.
The Minister said that there were incidents of extensive hailstorm and heavy rains from February 4 to 6, 18th and 19th and 21 to 25, 2013 due to which crops of Wheat, Mustard, Gram and fodder in some districts of the State have been damaged.
State received 71.8 mm rainfall in February as against a normal rainfall of 32.6 mm which is 121 per cent more than normal or average which caused loss to the Rabi Crops particularly Wheat, Mustard, Gram and fodder in some districts of the state. All the Deputy Commissioners in the State were directed on February 2,2013 to take preventive measures including protection of procurement stock lying with various agencies keeping in view the weather predictions of Indian Meteorological Department.
The State Government immediately swung into action and called for the reports of damage to crops from rain or hailstorm from all the Deputy Commissioners of the State. The Deputy Commissioners of Sonipat, Narnaul, Mewat, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Faridabad, Ambala, Rewari, Sirsa, Panipat, Jind, Hisar, Yamuna Nagar and Bhiwani have sent tentative reports of damage on this account.
He said that the State is anxious to safeguard the interests of the farmers and relief shall be provided to the affected farmers within a short time.Haryana is an agrarian State. He said that 75 of the population of the State is dependent on Agriculture. The Government being farmer friendly, is anxious to safeguard the interest of the farmers. Whenever the farmers suffer any loss due to damage to crops, the State Government always provides all possible relief to them and that too at the earliest possible. As per the provision of Section 46(1) and Section 48(1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Disaster Response Fund at the National Level and State Disaster Response Fund has been constituted at the State level to provide relief to the victims of natural calamities. This fund has been constituted to provide immediate relief to the victims of cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloud burst, cold wave and pest attack. Earlier State Disaster Response Fund was called Calamity Relief Fund. Seventy-five per cent of the funds are contributed in this fund by the Government of India and 25 per cent of the funds are contributed by State Government.
While referring to the norms of compensation, he said that the Government has been issuing instructions from time to time to safeguard the interest of the farmers. In this process, Government has revised the norms for compensation in July 2010 for drought, flood, hailstorm and fire. The State norms have been regularly reviewed since March 2005 and rates of compensation have been continuously increased over the years. For example the compensation for wheat crop due to drought (damage ranging 51 to75 per cent) which was Rs. 1000 per acre before March 2005 is now Rs. 2700 per acre. These norms are much higher than the Central Government norms for damage to crops due to drought which is Rs. 1214 per acre for rainfed areas and Rs. 2428 per acre for irrigated areas. Similarly, in case of hailstorm or fire or floods the State norms for damage to crops like wheat paddy cotton, sugarcane (damage ranging 51 to 75 per cent) which was Rs. 1000 per acre before March 2005 has now been increased to Rs. 4500 per acre. This is much higher than the Central Government norms for damage to crops due to hailstorm or fire or floods which is Rs. 1214 per acre for rainfed areas and Rs. 2428 per acre for irrigated areas. It is apparent that State Government is paying more compensation for crops damage than the norms of Government of India. The State Government has been continuously revising the compensation norms–revisions were effected in March 2005, January 2007 and in July 2010.
The state has been responsive to natural calamities and has always responded promptly to the needs of its farmers. The compensation released district wise shows that an amount of Rs 74.33 crores was distributed during the financial years 1999-2004 as against Rs 886.46 crore during financial years 2005-2012. The major chunk of fund was released during 2010-11 which is to the tune of Rs. 426.9 Crore. Similarly, Rs 157.09 crore were released during the year 2007-08. Every year funds are released for paying compensation to the farmers on account of damage to the crop due to drought, flood and hailstorm. Compensation paid from 2005-06 till 2010-11 is Rs. 72.97 crore, Rs 82.89 crore, Rs 17.09 crore, Rs 43.63 crore, Rs 85.24 crore and Rs 426.9 crore respectively.
The compensation sanctioned for crops damage due to drought during the year 2005-06 was Rs. 14.80 crore whereas in the year 2009-10, an amount of Rs. 79.29 crore was sanctioned on this account. The compensation sanctioned for crops damage due to floods during the year 2005-06 was Rs. 6.74 crore whereas in the year 2010-11, an amount of Rs. 378.92 crore was sanctioned on this account. The compensation sanctioned for crops damage due to hailstorm during the year 2005-06 was Rs. 51.43, crore whereas in the year 2007-08, an amount of Rs. 146.78 crore was sanctioned on this account.
When there is any human and cattle death due to natural calamity such as floods, hailstorm, drought, fire, lightning the Government sanctions relief. The compensation norm for human death which was Rs 50,000 in 2005 has been increased to Rs two lakh.Similarly, in case of death of cattle namely Sheep or Goat, Buffalo (calf upto three years of age), Mule, Donkey, Cow, Bullock or Buffalo, Horse, Camel the compensation which ranged from Rs. 300 to 3,000 before 2005 has now been increased and ranges from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 16,400 .
Norms for crop damage due to floods, hailstorm and fire have been revised upwards from time to time. For example State norms of damage to crops (between 76 to 100 per cent) which was Rs. 1000 per acre has now been increased to Rs. 5,500 per acre. This is much higher than Government of India norms which are Rs. 1214 per acre (for rainfed area) and Rs. 2428 per acre (for assured irrigation area).
While referring to the new initiatives taken by the Government, he said that "lightning" has also been included in the year 2011 in the State list of natural calamities and pursuant to that relief on account of loss of cattle/human deaths was included in the cases of other natural calamities. An amount of Rs. 18 lakh has been paid to the affected nine persons.The State Government has also decided to grant relief for the repair of 2,601 damaged tubewells of the farmers at a rate of Rs. 7500 with effect from 2010. An amount of Rs. 1.95 crore has been paid to the affected persons during the year 2010-2013.The Government further took a very benevolent step and decided to grant relief on account of land lost due to the change of course of river in case of the small and marginal farmers at a rate of Rs. 12,000 per acre with effect from 2011.Another farmer friendly step of the Government was to grant relief at a rate of Rs. 3500 per acre to the farmers whose land remained unsown due to standing water of flood with effect from 2010. A sum of Rs. 4.51 crore, 3.70 crores and Rs. 0.15 crore has been sanctioned to Deputy Commissioner Bhiwani, Jhajjar and Yamuna Nagar respectively during the year 2012-13.
He said that cold wave was not included in the list of natural calamities under the State Disaster Response Fund. The State Government took up the matter with Government of India at various levels. Chief Minister, Haryana wrote to Union Agriculture Minister and due to persistent efforts made by the State Government, ultimately the Government of India relented and Coldwave/frost has been included in the list of natural calamities under SDRF. On account of inclusion of coldwave in the list of natural calamities, the department released Rs. 37.21 crores during the year 2012-13 as relief for crops affected on this account in Districts of Narnaul, Bhiwani and Hisar during January and February, 2012.
While referring to other major reliefs granted by the State Government, he said that a sum of Rs.14,93,17,500 has been sanctioned during the year 2011-12 for the disbursement of gratuitous relief to the farmers on 24-10-2011 whose standing crops have been damaged as a result of Hailstone during March/April, 2011. An amount of Rs.1.30 crore has been sanctioned to Public Health Department for purchase of Super Sucker Machine during the year 2012-13. This machine is meant for cleaning and desilting of underground sewers. An amount of Rs.7.27 crore has been sanctioned to Irrigation Department during the year 2011-12 for plugging and strengthening of breaches, banks, filling rain cuts and making temporary drains due to floods, 2010.
An amount of Rs. 1.87 crore, Rs 0.08 crore, Rs 0.06 crore ,Rs 0.15 crore and Rs 0.08 crore has been sanctioned to the Deputy Commissioner, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Ambala, Rohtak and Kaithal respectively for payment of dewatering bills during the year 2012-13.
An amount of Rs. 4.51 crore, Rs 3.70 crore and Rs. 0.15 crore has been sanctioned to Deputy Commissioner Bhiwani, Jhajjar and Yamuna Nagar respectively during the year 2012-13 on account of distribution to the farmers whose lands have been rendered un-cultivable due to standing flood water during the year 2011-12.