ALAPPUZHA: Kerala Congress (M) leader K. M. Mani has said that the widespread agricultural damage in the Kuttanad region could have been avoided had the Government ensured time-bound implementation of the Kuttanad package.
Speaking to reporters here on Sunday after visiting paddy fields affected by the continuing rains in Kuttanad, Mr. Mani said the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government was still stuck in the planning stages of implementation when the package should actually have begun to give its benefits to the farmers.
Demanding that immediate compensation should be ensured to the farmers who had suffered heavy losses due to the rain, mostly because of the absence of adequate precautionary measures that had to be ensured by the Government, Mr. Mani said the expenses for re-construction of bunds and pumping water out of submerged fields should be borne by the Government, apart from providing the farmers with seeds free of cost so that the ‘puncha’ round of cultivation was not thrown completely off-track.
Mr. Mani said bund breaches had been reported from 191 paddy fields spread over the Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta belts of Kuttanad , with the total damage estimated to go above Rs.30 crore. The water levels that went up due to the summer rains had inflicted damage in 2,750 acres. The rain had also caused damage to over 30,000 houses, the expense of which should be borne by the Revenue Department, he said.