nmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, November 30
The farmers in the villages falling under the Municipal Corporation are dejected as their applications for Rs 2,500 per acre compensation are not being accepted by Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPO). The compensation is being granted to farmers for not burning crop residue in non-basmati fields.
Many farmers complained that BDPOs had been asking them to visit the MC office as their villages fell under the civic body’s jurisdiction.
A farmer advocate, Kuljit Singh Malawali, said, “When farmers visit MC offices, the officials concerned say they have no such instructions so they cannot accept applications.” He said already there were farmers excluded on the pretext that they had grown basmati varieties.
Farmers say that when the government has got FIRs registered against farmers from villages under the MC for burning crop residue, it is not justified to deny them benefit.
Another farmer, Kulwinder Singh, questioned, “How does geographical location of the land makes a farmer ineligible for monetary compensation? What incentive does farmers in villages under the MC limit have to shun residue burning?” He said benefits should be extended to all farmers irrespective of their area and the paddy variety.
Many villages, including Gumtala, Malawali, Mannawala, Mahal, Kot Khalsa, Naraingarh, Sultanwind, Guru Ki Wadali, Chattiwind and Vallah, have been included in MC limits from time to time. Large chunks of land in these villages are still under agriculture.
District Development and Panchayat Officer (DDPO) Gurpreet Singh Gill said, “The monetary assistance as announced by the government is for rural areas. Applications require attestation and verification by village panchayats. No panchayats are there in urban areas so their applications cannot be accepted.”
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