Chandigarh, April 16 (IANS) With an increase in the number of incidents of fire in the standing wheat crop, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday demanded that the Punjab government should give 100 per cent compensation for the losses suffered by the farmers.
“The AAP has taken a serious note of the recurring fire incidents destroying standing crops of worth several crores of rupees in the state. The incidents of fire are taking place due to the lackadaisical attitude of the state government,” AAP’s Kisan Wing President and legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan said in a statement issued here.
He said that with the advent of summer season, incidents of fire destroying standing crops worth crores of rupees are on the rise and are adding to the miseries of the farmers already caught in a serious agrarian crisis.
Officials that that over two dozen incidents of crops catching fire had been reported so far across Punjab.
Noting that the fire incidents have not been new to the state, Sandhwan said: “If official figures are to be believed, standing crops worth crores of rupees fell to the raging flames caused mostly due to short circuit or sparks in the live high tension wires over the certain areas.”
He pointed out to a fire incident in the Banur area under Mohali district in which crop worth lakhs of rupees was burnt.
“It is not an incident to be seen in isolation. There are hundreds of incidents of fire that had been taking place. The affected farmers get no compensation for the financial loss they had suffered,” he said.
Punjab is looking at a bumper procurement of 130 lakh tonnes this season (April-May).
Sandhwan lamented that power sector officials were not bothered about the farmers’ losses. He said that the outdated power supply modes, which were not being properly maintained, were responsible for fires in agricultural fields.