Plea to Lokayukta on farmers’ plight

Plea to Lokayukta on farmers’ plight

A rights activist and journalist Rama Dasappa Naidu has moved the Lokayukta on the plight of the peasant community in Anantapur district seeking...

The authority takes cognizance of the complaint

Rights activist and journalist Rama Dasappa Naidu says he petitioned the Lokayukta, after seeing the sufferings of farmers in Anantapur as shown in HMTV Dasha Disha programme and published in The Hans India

Hyderabad: A rights activist and journalist Rama Dasappa Naidu has moved the Lokayukta on the plight of the peasant community in Anantapur district seeking directions to the state government and the district administration for initiating corrective measures forthwith to save the farmers who had been committing suicides because of their dwindling fortunes.

His complaint (case no 3910. 2013) was taken into cognizance by the Lokayukta. The complainant was inspired mainly by the debates organized by the HMTV as part of ‘Dasha Disha’ that focusing the wretched conditions in which the farmers were living and their crippled finances that drove them to the desperate act of ending lives in the district.

He produced in the court the video clippings from the news channels in support of his stand. He urged the court to direct the district collector for grant of compensation and investigate as to why the farmers are committing suicide. He pointed out a few things in his petition. The economy in the district which was primarily agrarian was rendered agriculture unremunerative because of the various factors including scanty rainfall. Crops such as groundnut, sunflower, rice, cotton, maize, and sugarcane being grown by the farmers were giving very little for them to sustain.

The mounting burden of debt had become the bane for the entire peasant community. Attributing it equally to the impact of the liberalization policies on the larger agricultural environment, he said the every family owed much to bank and money lender.

The northern and the central zones of the area were of high plateau, generally undulating with large granite rocks of low hill ranges rising occasionally above its surface. Southern portion is more hilly with the plateau rising to 2,000 feet above the sea. Jeedipalli reservoir of Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanti (HNSS) project in the district project aimed at channeling flood flows of Krishna river from foreshore of Srisailam reservoir for providing drinking water to about 33 lakh people and to create irrigation potential of over six lakh acres.

The main aim of the project was to help the arid pockets of Rayalaseema. It did not make any headway in its execution due to heavy investment of Rs 6,850 crore involved in it. The progress is tardy.

Electricity or the lack of it both for agriculture and domestic use is a major issue of concern. With the breakdown of the government seed distribution center, farmers are dependent on private seed dealers. Migration has been on a higher side thanks to the lack of local income opportunities. The possibilities even for this have been shrinking, as the entire region around the district has been economically.

Meanwhile, unemployment and the sheer difficulty of daily life have spawned frustration and violence among the youth. Suicide deaths in Anantapur, even as they continue, are now outnumbered by deaths resulting from gang wars and factional killings, adding yet another harsh element to the complex tribulations of the area. A few industries that had been holding out hope were now closed down. They included AP Lightning Ltd and Hindupur Sugar Factory.

He wanted more focus and setting up industries to boost employment in the region. Presently, Vishakha Steel plant is catering to the needs of more than 10,000 jobs, which is a good thing. Similarly, other projects should come up in this region to curb unemployment.

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