Chandigarh: With unseasonal rain damaging the standing wheat crop in several areas of Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday sought compensation for the farmers from the central government.
Expressing concern over the major losses caused to the crops due to the recent rains in the region, Badal sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal intervention for upward revision of the compensation to the affected farmers at a rate of Rs.10,000 per acre.
Badal said the present norm of Rs.3,600 per acre compensation for 100 percent loss was too little as it did not even provide for the input cost incurred by the farmers.
In separate letters to the prime minister and union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, he said crops had been damaged in several parts due to the erratic rain.
"Punjab and its neighbouring states have experienced widespread rains over the past few days... the average rainfall was about 42 cms on March 1 and 2.
"Although rains at this point of time should be good for the standing wheat and other Rabi crops, unfortunately the intensity and frequency of rains, coupled with high speed winds and hailstorms, have caused substantial damage to the crops and impaired the livelihood of a large number of farmers," Badal said.
He said initial reports had indicated that cultivated area of over seven lakh acres had been affected.
The chief minister pointed out that the damage was much higher in the case of vegetables and other horticulture crops.
"The Rabi 2014-15 crops were almost ready for a good harvesting season and the farmers have now incurred almost full input cost in raising these crops," he said, adding that the farmers should not only be compensated for the input costs but also loss of livelihood.