Sambalpur: The Orissa High Court has directed the Sambalpur district administration to resolve the issues related to crop insurance claims of farmers in Kuchinda.
The farmers in the area had suffered crop loss due to erratic rainfall and pest attacks in 2018.
A joint survey had allegedly failed to properly assess the loss in some areas. Farmers had moved the HC in this connection. A two-member HC bench comprising Chief Justice SK Muralidharan and Justice SK Panigrahy heard the case.
They have directed Collector Subham Saxena to resolve the issues of the crop insurance by January 2, 2022.
The HC order stated that the district administration, the affected farmers and the insurance company (Reliance) should hold a tripartite meeting to settle the issues.
The HC has also asked the district administration to report to it about the decision to be taken in the meeting.
It may be noted here that paddy crop was damaged in most parts of the district in khariff season in 2018 owing to insufficient rainfall, unseasonal rains and pest attacks.
After repeated demands from the farmers of the affected areas, agriculture, the revenue and the statistics departments had conducted a joint survey on the crop damage.
In the report, it was stated that crop damage was less in irrigated area than that in the non-irrigated area.
After assessment of the crop damage, the insurance company announced to pay Rs 168 crore. Later, a committee surveyed the loss again and showed lesser damage of crops.
Thereafter, the company refused to pay the claims as announced earlier. Sore over the decision of the company, farmers had staged protests, road blockades and observed Kunchinda bandh.
They carried on agitation for 100 days while various social and political outfits supported the agitation of the aggrieved farmers. Later, the pandemic put an end to their agitation.
The administration and the insurance company did not take steps to clear the insurance claims of the affected farmers. Sushant Kumar Patel, a local resident on behalf of a farmers’ outfit, moved the High Court in this matter.
Farmers have welcomed the HC order while Collector Subham Saxena said the issues will be settled by January, 2022.
It is said that over 40,000 farmers in Kuchinda sub-division have been affected by the crop loss. The affected farmers will receive nearly Rs 100 crore towards insurance claims.