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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Storm Hit Mango Merchants Unhappy over Compensation Amount and Policy

MALDA, 4 MAY: The mango cultivators of the district expressed their strong discontent at the compensation amount and policy of the state government for them who were badly hit by the storm last month. In a meeting with the district administrations the leaders of Malda Mango Merchants’ Association (MMMA) apprehended that as per the provisions of the present compensation policies, the truly affected mango cultivators would be badly affected.

This may be mentioned that the mango cultivation was formidably hit by a hailstorm last month. The mango buds were largely destroyed in the district. The cultivators who were expecting a bumper production this year were shattered by the natural calamity. It was estimated by the MMMA that the loss would be around Rs 100 crore from production to marketing. They also apprehended that the economy of the district would also face a setback.

MMMA leaders demanded compensation from the state as well as the Central government for the huge loss. Yesterday, the district administrations held a meeting with the MMMA representatives. MMMA president Subodh Mishra said that the government estimated the loss of Rs 30 cr. “But it was much lower compared to ours. Moreover, the compensation, whatever it is, if given as the existing norms, the poor mango farmers would be deprived,” Mr Mishra said. He explained: “In most cases the orchard is sold off by the original owner verbally as per the traditions anticipating the production by the buds. Thereafter, the land is handed over three to four times. Hence, if the original owners of the orchards are compensated, other victimized farmers would be deprived.”

The district administrations, by and large, conceded the claim of the MMMa leaders though informally. A senior district administrative official, on the condition of anonymity, said: “We understand their problem. But they should suggest as to how we should formulate a policy so that the original victims get the compensation.” The official also informed that a proposal for setting up a project of Rs 72 cr was sent to the state government for preserving mango pulp.

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