State Government Approves ₹15.48 Crore Compensation For Hirda Growers Affected By Nisarga Cyclone

State Government Approves ₹15.48 Crore Compensation For Hirda Growers Affected By Nisarga Cyclone

Despite prior compensation for crop damage in October 2020 and financial aid for damaged houses and structures post-cyclone, hirda farmers were initially excluded from the list of beneficiaries due to non-compliance with government guidelines.

Ankit ShuklaUpdated: Friday, March 15, 2024, 03:12 PM IST
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State Government Approves ₹15.48 Crore Compensation For Hirda Growers Affected By Nisarga Cyclone |

The state government, on Monday, approved a compensation package of ₹15.48 crore for hirda growers impacted by the Nisarga cyclone on June 3, 2020.

Despite prior compensation for crop damage in October 2020 and financial aid for damaged houses and structures post-cyclone, hirda farmers were initially excluded from the list of beneficiaries due to non-compliance with government guidelines. Following protests by farmers, led by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), the district collector proposed compensation under special provisions.

Approximately 7,066 quintals of hirda in Ambegaon and Junnar tehsils of Pune were affected, affecting 3,865 farmers, 90% of whom are tribals, for whom hirda farming is a primary income source, according to district administration records.

Farmers and leaders speak up

Speaking to Free Press Journal, Kisan Sabha President Amol Waghmare said, "We were fighting for the right to justice through democratic means for three and a half years. Protests were held at both Pune Collector's office and Divisional Commissioner's office. The two long marches that followed brought this issue to the fore more acutely. Promises were made this time but not implemented. Therefore, in February, a seven-day hunger strike and village-to-village protests were held."

He added, "Finally, the state government considered helping us. All credit for the success behind the struggle goes to farmers and Kisan Sabha. Three thousand one hundred farmers of 65 villages will benefit from this. We welcome the state government's decision on the matter. But until the amount is not deposited in the farmers' accounts, this fight and follow-up will continue. Panchnama was done on behalf of the number of trees, not area-wise. But the government was analysing the issue according to area. However, the issue has been resolved."

Ramdas Lohkare, a farmer from Village Terangan, Taluka Ambegaon, District Pune, said, "Our crops were extensively damaged in the cyclone. The dedicated department made Panchnama. But as there was no further processing on it, it was shifted to the waiting box. The Kisan Sabha followed up with information from the Right to Information. We conducted multiple protests in front of government offices."

"It is the main mode of survival for tribal people. These are big trees, and one has to climb the tree to break the gum by hand. Although it is dangerous, there is no alternative to this gum as it is a means of livelihood," he added.

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