‘Distressed’ Odisha farmers threaten to observe August 15 as ‘black day’
While farmers continue to suffer due to delay in insurance claim settlements, the State government and the insurance companies pass the buck onto each other
Bhubaneswar: Alleging incessant delay in getting crop insurance claims, Odisha farmers have threatened to observe August 15 as ‘black day’ if the government fails to disburse the due amount by then. It is being alleged that insurance companies are blatantly cheating farmers across the State, especially in districts like Bargarh, Balasore and Ganjam among others.
Another farmer, Lingaraj Pradhan in Padampur of Bargarh district said: “As we have deposited the premium, we must get the insurance amount. It is our right. Hence, we have decided to hoist black flag on August 15. We demand our freedom, our rights and we will continue our fight till for our rights.”
The insurance companies have reportedly apprised the State government about such cases of ‘cheating’ at some places. However, both the government and the insurance firms are blaming each over for the delay in release of insurance claims. “… Mass irregularities are to be brought to the notice of the central government. Why are the companies taking data after crop cutting? Why aren’t they taking the data during crop standing period?” Minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, Ranendra Pratap Swain questioned.
A total of five insurance companies have signed contracts with the State government for crop insurance. However, several farmers are yet to get their crop insurance claims for the year 2017 and 2018. With such delay stoking resentment among farmers in the State, they have started taking to the streets. Last week, farmers of Bargarh district gheroaed the sub-collectors’s office at Padampur protesting the delay in getting crop insurance.