Tribune News Service
Bathinda, October 22
Farmer Harpreet Singh of Katar Singhwala village in the district — whose picture with Punjab CM Charanjit Channi is plastered on hoardings that announce “adequate compensation for the damaged cotton crop” — has not received a penny in compensation as yet.
Photographs of the CM’s visit to cotton fields are representational. A survey has been done. Farmers will be compensated soon. KK Yadav, Special Principal Secy
Similarly, another farmer, Balwinder Singh, of the same village — whose photo with CM Channi hugging him in his field went viral on social media — also awaits compensation. On September 26, Channi had visited Katar Singhwala to check the cotton crop damaged by pink bollworm. He had assured farmers that compensation would be given to them soon after conducting girdawari.
During this visit, Balwinder had told Channi that any compensation announced by the state government never reached them fully. On hearing this, Channi had hugged Balwinder and assured him that this time the compensation would come directly to the farmers.
A month, however, has gone by, and they are yet to receive crop damage relief. Talking to The Tribune, both Harpreet and Balwinder expressed their unhappiness over the delay. Harpreet said he had taken 30 acres on contract at Rs 70,000 per acre. On 16 acres, he had sown cotton, which had been totally damaged by pink bollworm. Revenue officials had visited his fields, but he was yet to receive compensation.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha tweeted: “A month has elapsed… farmers Balwinder and Harpreet whose pictures are plastered all over Punjab have not received a penny in compensation, let alone any other farmer of Punjab. Both feel cheated and used.” SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted: “Blatant lies by Punjab govt splashed on boards…. When girdawari hasn’t been completed, how can the CM claim that his government has compensated cotton farmers?”
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