Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Monday announced a special package for farmers affected by untimely rain and hailstorm in north Karnataka. In a prolonged debate in the Legislative Council on the issue of crop loss suffered by farmers of eight districts due to unseasonal rain and hailstorm, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he will shortly announce the package details.
“The crop loss this time is unprecedented and severe. I am waiting for the joint survey report from the agriculture, horticulture and revenue departments to announce the package,” he said.
Revenue Minister V. Srinivas Prasad said the State will also be presenting a memorandum to the Centre urging for a special package for the losses suffered by the farmers, apart from that which is given under the National Disaster Relief Fund and the State Disaster Relief Fund.
He said preliminary reports suggested as many as 14 persons, 90 cattle heads, 774 homes, 55,405.88 hectares of agriculture land and 1,433.85 hectares of horticulture crops have been destroyed. The value of damaged agriculture land, due to heavy rain, is estimated to be Rs. 350 crore. Similarly, the value of horticulture crops lost due to the same rain is Rs. 15 crore.
The combined Opposition of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party, however, staged a walkout for not waiving loans of farmers who have lost their crops in the heavy rain and hailstorm. However, Mr. Siddaramaiah said it was impossible to waive the loans.