Insurers under scanner over ‘irregularities’ in crop insurance in Odisha

Bolangir: Even after facing drought for four consecutive years, the farmers in Bolangir district are yet to receive compensation under the crop insurance scheme. Hundreds of farmers are yet to get their claims settled owing to the alleged nexus between state government and the insurance companies.

The farmers alleged that there has been a massive conspiracy to evade payment and settlement of their claims under the crop insurance scheme. Protesting such irregularities, farmers gheraoed the Bolangir MP and Collector today.

“We feel like being cheated by the insurance companies as we are yet to receive our claims,” said Budhadev Mahakud, a farmer.

OTV investigation also points towards discrepancies in the final crop cutting reports submitted by revenue inspectors in Ghantabahal, Kholan and Adabahal panchayats. As a result, only handful farmers received claims under the crop insurance scheme while a majority were deprived.

The operations of insurance companies has now come under scanner as instead of settling claims on the basis of the final report, they are now trying to return the premiums deposited by farmers after one-and-a-half-years.

Though the discrepancies in the crop cutting reports are clearly visible, the district administration has kept mum on the issue. The collector tried to shrug off his responsibility by passing the buck and blaming insurance companies.

“The insurance companies could have asked for documents from the farmers if there were some discrepancies. Instead of acting then and doing such work now, it certainly appears like cheating farmers,” said Bolangir Collector, Arindam Dakua.

Bolangir Deputy Agriculture director Sridhar Das on the other hand had informed that such allegations are being investigated and appropriate action will be taken based on its outcome.