Uttar Pradesh Dairy Development Minister Lakshmi Narain Chaudhary has said he would request the chief minister to provide immediate relief to farmers of Chhatta assembly constituency where paddy and cottonseed crop have been damaged due to waterlogging.
Chaudhary represents the Chhatta assembly constituency and is surveying several villages in the area to ascertain the crop losses. He said a support from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the farmers would pave the way for sowing of Rabi crop.
"Since 100 per cent paddy and 70 per cent cottonseed crop has been damaged and the crop is still waterlogged, the farmers need money for sowing Rabi crop," Chaudhary said after visiting over 30 villages on Friday to ascertain the crop damage.
The minister is visiting Saturday over 20 villages in the Goverdhan assembly constituency, hit by waterlogging, to ascertain the actual losses.
Prior to demarcation, these villages were in Chhatta assembly constituency.
According to Chaudhary, he would request Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to provide relief to every paddy and cottonseed grower as the magnitude of the devastation has been "unbelievable".
The paddy growers have invested Rs 12,000 per acre on growing paddy/ cottonseed that too without any return, he said.
The minister said as per tradition in Mathura small farmers plough land of big farmers, on lease, in lieu of some money or grain.
Denial of compensation to big farmers, would indirectly hit small farmers who are the actual growers, he said.
In order to ascertain the root cause of extensive damage of paddy and cottonseed crop in the Chhatta assembly constituency, Chaudhary visited the affected area with Agriculture experts, scientists, district-level officers departments concerned and representative of insurance companies.
"The farmers earlier attributed the crop damage to the onslaught of an insect. However, the team was of firm view that waterlogging was the root cause of the extensive damage," Chaudhary said.
On the complaint of the farmers, a team of officers of the Agriculture department, Revenue department, scientists and insurance companies is surveying the area to assess the actual damage, District Magistrate Sarvagya Ram Mishra said.
The team has nearly ascertained the loss in over 30 villages and the remaining ones would be covered shortly, Mishra, who also toured with the minister in some affected areas said.
He assured the farmers that they would be provided relief under farmer insurance scheme.
Chaudhary said the damage would not have been of such magnitude had rivulets of the area been properly cleaned and aquatic weeds rooted out.
"I would also request Yogi ji for a probe against irrigation department officials for not cleaning the rivulets of the area and thus indirectly responsible for massive devastation," he said.
He said he would request the chief minister to consider problems of the cottonseed growers sympathetically so that they do not suffer.