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Agrarian crisis in Bundelkhand, government schemes plagued by massive leakage

A wait of two years for the compensation of damaged crops and back to back hailstorms and droughts have broken the backbone of the agrarian economy in Bundelkhand.

Rupashree Nanda | News18

Updated:March 26, 2016, 11:37 AM IST
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Agrarian crisis in Bundelkhand, government schemes plagued by massive leakage
A wait of two years for the compensation of damaged crops and back to back hailstorms and droughts have broken the backbone of the agrarian economy in Bundelkhand.
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People of Bundelkhand, a region which is divided between the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is going through a hard time not just because of the hailstorms which damaged their crops but also due to the government's neglect which delayed their compensation.

In 2014, due to excessive rains in the region, farmers there witnessed a major damage to their crops. But their problems did not end there. Much before they received compensation for the crops damaged in 2014, hailstorms struck again for the second consecutive year. The hailstorms on 2015 further crippled a tottering agrarian economy.

The Crisis of Bundelkhand, problems which people are facing:

--Only 33% of land in Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh has seen sowing. 67% of the agricultural land is lying fallow.

--In 2014- people lost Kharif crop due to untimely rains and Rs 200 Cr has been distributed to farmers as compensation.

--Ponds that are centuries old are drying. Half of hand pumps dug by the Government has not given any water.

Government push to schemes to fight the battle:

--The UPA-I government's Bundelkhand Package of Rs 7266 crore was announced with much fanfare in 2009. Divided between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the money was meant to dig wells, create water conservation projects and build market yards. It was ambitious but like most large scale deployment of government resources it was also plagued by corruption.

--According to a data, the Madhya Pradesh government received Rs 201 crore for the excessive rains of 2014 which they distributed to farmers as the compensation of their damaged crops only in early 2016. However another installment of Rs 932 Cr is still pending.

--A wait of two years for the compensation of damaged crops and back to back hailstorms and droughts have broken the backbone of the agrarian economy in Bundelkhand.

Nothing on the ground:

--The package plagued by massive leakages especially in macro projects. Ponds that are centuries old are drying. Half of hand pumps dug by the Government has not given any water.

--The state government is aggressively pushing the MNREGS. However, the scheme is not meeting it's desired fate. Since December, in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, 100000 man-days of work has been created under MNREGS but corruption is a problem with MNREGS- Chattarpur administration alone has registered 46 FIRs regarding MNREGS work in 50 gram panchayats.

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