HC relief lash on Maha govt
Gives Last Chance To File Details Of
Measures Taken For Farmers
Ramu Bhagwat | TNN http://epaper.timesofindia.com
Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court is running out of patience with the Maharashtra government on providing succour to the cotton farmers on the brink in Vidarbha.
Pulling up the relief commissioner implementing the special relief packages, the court gave the government a last chance to file full details of the status of relief measures undertaken and a list of beneficiaries.
The court had expressed indignation with sloppy implementation of the relief packages at the last hearing of the case on July 11 and asked the government and the agencies concerned to file a detailed affidavit enumerating the progress in the field and then placing the details on a website so that the public could access the information.
On Monday, the court was not happy with the affidavit that government pleader Bharati Dangre presented and asked for a printout of the webpage giving the details. When she could not, a bench of Justices R M S Khandeparkar and S R Dongaoankar turned to Anup Kumar, chief of the VNS Mission of the state government that is implementing the relief packages, and directed him to produce the printout on August 16, making it clear it was the last chance for the government to redeem itself. Earlier, the bench noted that 108 farmers had committed suicide since PM Manmohan Singh's visit to the affected villages and announcement of a Rs 3,750-crore special relief package on July 1. In a PIL, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari had blamed the bureaucrats and the Maharashtra government for flawed policies that were pushing the cotton growers to suicide. The court has been hardening against what it perceives as the lackladaisical attitude of the government towards the tragedy. In June, it had imposed a cost of Rs 1,000 per head on about 13 respondents, including the chief secretary and the police chief, for failing to file affidavits in time. When the respondents offered unconditional apology, the penalty was withdrawn, but not before a reminder that the concession did not amount to a clean chit.