FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Mere hogwash
Posted:Aug 29, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The incessant rainfall in the second week of August caused heavy damage to standing crops in 31 districts leaving millions of people homeless, as their houses were inundated for weeks, without food, medicine and even drinking water. According to preliminary estimates prepared by the Ministry of Agricultural Development various crops planted on more than 78,500 hectares of land worth Rs. 8.5 billion were destroyed and paddy plantation was the hardest hit as the floods in Tarai districts washed away paddy plantation worth Rs. 3.2 billion and the fertile land has now been converted into barren fields with thick sedimentation. The fishery business which occupied more than 13,000 hectares of land has also been ruined due to floods causing a loss of around Rs. 800 million. It has been almost two weeks since the devastating floods swept away large swaths of fertile land in the plain. But the government agencies are clueless about how much of the population were actually affected and how much resources and how much time it will take to bring the life of the affected families to normalcy. Let alone coming up with a long-term plan of action to rehabilitate the flood affected families,  the government has not even been able to provide immediate relief assistance to those still living under the scorching sun.
 
Now the ministry has announced subsidy packages to the affected families in which they will be provided with hybrid seeds of paddy, maize, wheat and vegetables to the farmers free of cost to “increase the agricultural production”. How can the government expect agricultural growth by providing hybrid seeds and fertilizers when the farmers have lost everything from their home and standing crops? The government’s first priority should be making an arrangement for shelters, drinking water and health facilities and schools for children. It has announced a package of Rs. 250,000 for the construction of a food market in every flood affected district and Rs. 50,000 per hectare of fishery pond so that farmers can purchase fingerlings. The subsidy packages will be distributed through the District Natural Disaster Relief Committee. But the farmers are required to file applications to receive the subsidy. It means that the government agencies will not be visiting the affected areas; rather it is the hapless farmers who will have to travel to the district headquarters.
The announcement of a subsidy is nothing more than hogwash. It will not help the flood affected families recover from natural disaster. As the standing paddy crop, the main cereal of South Asia, has been destroyed, the government should focus on alternative cash crops so that the farmers can grow on the sandy farmland after the recess of the monsoon. The way the subsidy package has been announced in haste  clearly shows that the ministry officials did not consult the agriculture experts who could have offered far better options than this. Providing free paddy seeds makes no sense when the monsoon is about to recess and no maize and wheat can be grown in inundated and sandy lands. Minister for Agricultural Development Ram Krishna Yadav who has some understanding of agriculture should have been honest by not making statements that yields nothing.
 
 
Animals rescued
Although the Kathmandu Valley is turning into a concrete jungle we see more wild animals and birds in the human settlements. At one time the population of these had dwindled to an alarming level but now through the efforts of the Kathmandu District Forest Office (DFO) 2,464 animals and birds have been rescued in the past five years from the capital city. The DFO has managed to apprehend many engaged in the smuggling of wild animal body parts. It has rescued the wildlife and the animals have either been kept in the central zoo or released in the jungles. The poachers released the wildlife into the open after they failed to find clients to buy them.
At present more sightings of leopards have been reported in the valley and many of them even enter human settlements. The leopards go there in search of food. Kathmandu has now turned into a hub for the trafficking of wildlife. Therefore it is essential for the concerned bodies like the DFO to rescue the animals which have wandered from their natural habitat. Of the wild animals so far rescued, 80 per cent of them were from the Valley. The number of leopards rescued has reached 37 in the past five years.
 
The Himalayan Times, August
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
Desperate living conditions and waterborne diseases are threatening more than 320,000 Rohingya refugee children who have fled to southern Bangladesh since late August, including some 10,000 who crossed from Myanmar over the past few days, UNICEF said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive