Farmer Suicide Problem Worsening in Maharashtra, Number of Deaths Increases: RTI
File image of a farmer in Marathawada (News18)
Mumbai: The problem of farmer suicides is worsening in Maharashtra, with the number of such deaths increasing in the last two years after the BJP-led government came to power, a reply to an RTI query has found.
As per data provided by Revenue Department to the RTI query by city-based activist Jitendra Ghadge, following are the year-wise figures of farmer suicides in recent years: 1296 in 2013; 1981 in 2014 and 3228 in 2015.
From January 1 to June 2016, 2,053 farmer suicide cases have been reported, with Amaravati division leading with 692 cases.
In the last 15 years, 20,873 cases of farmer suicides were reported, of which, 9,907 cases were found to be "fit for compensation".
As many as 10,390 cases were found to be "ineligible" for compensation while inquiry was pending in 576 cases. Of these 576 cases of suicide, 484 took place in 2015.
Most cases were reported in Amaravati division (10,970) followed by Aurangabad (3,863), Nagpur (3,051), Nashik (2,186), Pune (781) and Konkan (22).
The Revenue Department's reply also said the state government was not considering increasing compensation given to families of deceased farmers in such cases from the current Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
The RTI activist alleged that the figures released by the Revenue Department are "under-reported", and the local police stations and Talathis (village revenue clerks) do not give the correct details about reasons of such suicides.
"Many suicides are not taken into account where causes are mental illness, alcohol addiction or family problems, due to which the cases are drastically under-reported," Ghadge said.
The government only announces measures to stop the suicides but turns a deaf ear to farmers' problems after that, he said.