By P.T. Bopanna
In a major scam, thousands of affluent planters in Kodagu (Coorg) district have pocketed huge compensation from Karnataka government allegedly by making false declaration of crop losses in last year’s floods, thereby depriving payments to needy farmers.
The government has released a list of 31,191 people who received compensation to the tune of Rs 30.80 crore.
What raised this writer’s suspicion was the fact that the list released by the government had payments made to farmers in South Kodagu where the crop losses were minimal from the floods.
Among the beneficiaries were a number of people, who drive around in high-end vehicles and members of prestigious clubs. It is apparent that government officials have colluded with the affluent farmers to claim the compensation which was credited to the bank account of the beneficiaries.
The Kodagu DC Annies Kanmani Joy (in picture) should immediately order an inquiry to ascertain how huge amounts were paid out to people who did not suffer crop losses and recover the amount from undeserving beneficiaries.
It is no secret that genuine farmers who suffered huge losses have only received paltry sums, whereas thousands of rupees were paid out to affluent farmers who suffered minor crop losses.
The government should have excluded the creamy layer while identifying the beneficiaries and increased the quantum of payment to small and marginal farmers.
Besides payment for crop losses, the government has also paid compensation towards removal of silts from fields and to those who lost their lands due to landslides.
The total compensation paid out was Rs 32.76 crore in Kodagu district. Please check out the link below to find out the beneficiaries who have availed compensation from the government.