Karnataka farmers wait for irrigation subsidy; dealers ask govt to clear dues
With water scarcity over the years becoming a cause of concern for farmers, the Department of Horticulture has been advised farmers to opt for drip irrigation on a large scale to save water and also crops during summer.
Bengaluru: With water scarcity over the years becoming a cause of concern for farmers, the Department of Horticulture has been advised farmers to opt for drip irrigation on a large scale to save water and also crops during summer. However, the farmers complain that they are running from pillar to post, as they are sandwiched between horticulture department officials and drip irrigation agents to claim subsidy.
The horticulture department ask farmers to provide documents to claim subsidy for Drip irrigation. On other side the Irrigation Association of Karnataka and dealers claim they have not recieved payment for last years irrigation project. On 11 October, The Irrigation Assocation of Karnataka had submitted a letter requesting the Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai to give them time to discuss on problems faced by Irrigation companies and re-check on the rates fixed.
One of the dealers, Srinath H said, "Last year in 2020, many farmers who have claimed for irrigation subsidy have not recieved it. Now this year 2021, the horticulture department have asked to submit the documents to claim the irrigation subsidy. From this the farmers, Irrigation Association and dealers are under loss. We are demanding the Horticulture department to release the pending subsidy amount of previous years. Then they can release the subsidy for the fresh files submitted. However, they are not ready to release subsidy for previous year. For which, we have invested money and time, and it will be a huge loss for us."
Speaking to Hans India, Horticulture Minister Munirathna said, "Last year the funds were released to all farmers who have genuinely installed and used drip and sprinkler irrigation facility. But there are few who have claimed without using it, those have not been provided subsidy from government. Let the association submit a requisition letter and meet me. I will resolve the issue if any problem is there."
One of the farmers from Chitradurga, Anjineya T said, "I am running around the horticulture office from last 4 months. The officers there claim they will help us everytime. But not even once they have helped us. They make us visit their office often, as they dont give proper information. We have paid 100 percent money for drip irrigation, but the dealers claim they cant submit our file as they are yet to get previous years subsidy amount. Whom should we ask, as we have taken loan from bank. We farmers request government to take responsibility of the funds they release, ensure the farmers are benefited."
The State government, which has declared few taluks as drought-hit, have to support the farmers use of drip and sprinkler irrigation. Uncontrolled exploitation of groundwater and deforestation have resulted in the groundwater level falling in some pockets of the district.
Now, farmers are finding it difficult to arrange water for the irrigation of their crops. Farmers have pleaded the government to help them, but still the problem is not solved.