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KCR changed face of TS farm sector in last 9 years: Niranjan Reddy
In view of nine years of consistent focus on the welfare of the farmers and different initiatives taken up by the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the state government had succeeded in making farming a profitable profession in the state.
Hyderabad: In view of nine years of consistent focus on the welfare of the farmers and different initiatives taken up by the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the state government had succeeded in making farming a profitable profession in the state. From tears in the eyes of farmers, we have now reached a stage where abundant water is flowing into their fields. Gone are the days when the farmer used to look towards skies and spread hands before money lenders said Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy in an exclusive interview to VRC Phaniharan.
Before formation of Telangana, farmers were forced to hypothecate gold and silver of their womenfolk with money- lenders to buy seeds, fertilisers etc. The high interest rates used to push them into debts and there were many case where the farmers committed suicide.
Telangana despite having rich historical and cultural heritage had to go into oblivion and faced drought, poverty, hunger, migrations. Ambali Kendras and suicides were a common feature. This forced the people to fight for separate T state with the slogan of 'Nellu-Nidhulu-Niyamakalu" (Water, Funds and Jobs).
The 14-year long agitation had seen several ups and downs. KCR who led the struggle had to face many humiliations and insults. His untiring efforts made the people stand behind him like a rock. The movement also saw sacrifices by martyrs and finally the Centre had to carve a new state.
Soon after coming to power, KCR accorded top priority to the speedy completion of pending irrigation projects. The Kaleswaram Lift Irrigation Project on River Godavari and Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Project on River Krishna became a reality in three years and water started flowing into the fields of the farmers, Reddy said.
In the United Andhra Pradesh, restrictions were imposed on diverting water from the canals to agricultural activity and filling villages tanks using motors. But this government revoked the water cess, and the restrictions on diverting water from the canals. About 26,000 village tanks and water bodies were restored and filled with water under Mission Kakatiya. Tanks and water bodies have been integrated under the command area of various irrigation projects and lift irrigation schemes to fill the water.
But just water was not enough to rejuvenate the farm sector. He realised that there was need to create new confidence in the minds of the farmers. Thus emerged the scheme to provide financial assistance to each farmer of Rs 10,000 per acre annually for both the crop seasons. So far the government had disbursed Rs 6519 crore directly into farmers accounts. Along with this Rythu Bhima scheme was also introduced to provide financial relief to the farmer's families in the incident of the death of the head of the family.
The state government is paying the entire premium in the case of the death of any farmer whatever the reason of the death. The family is paid Rs 5 lakh insurance coverage under this scheme and to date it had benefitted 1,02,124 farmers. KCR felt that even this would not suffice. So he decided to provide 24 hour free quality power. The minister said Telangana is the only state in the country implementing such innovative schemes and it is the only government that considers ‘Farmer as King’ (Rythe Raju).