Friday, February 23, 2007

64 suicides in Feb. ’07 alone -asianage reports today

64 suicides in Feb. '07 alone - Farmer kills self over power cut(You can find it at: ' 64 suicides in Feb. '07 alone - Farmer kills self over power cut'The Asian Age ePaper - Digital replica of Print Edition.) farmer, 60 year-old Rajarao Tulsiram Mate, committed suicide in the office of the Maharashtra Electricity Distribution Company's sub-station at Bhandaraj in Amaravati district, as power supply to his village had been cut for the last two days. His village is part of rural Vidarbha which faces 14 hours of electricity cut a day. The farmers in the area claim that their region faces massive load-shedding in order to restore 100 per cent power supply to Mumbai and rest of western Maharashtra. Vidarbha, these farmers claim, generates more than 6,000 MW of power and their requirement is just 5,200 MW. There is no need for load shedding in Vidarbha. Their region is suffering, they feel, so that western Maharashtra can prosper. Four other farmers apart from Mate committed suicide in the last two days, according to Mr Kishor Tiwari, of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, who has been keeping a record of every suicide by a farmer in Vidarbha. They are: ¦ Suryabhan Mahadu Atram, a tribal of village Mandawa in Zari block of Yavatmal district. ¦ Vishnu Kamble, a dalit farmer of Loni (Gavali) in Mehkar block of Buldhana district. ¦ Vithoba Pasare, a dalit farmer of Tawi village in Wardha district. ¦ Pramod Manik Shinde Usalga van of Dhamamgoan With these suicides, the number of suicides by farmers in Vidarbha in February 2007 has risen to 64. Since 2007, 70 farmers have committed suicide because of indebtedness, said Mr Tiwari. He said, as per government data, 1,452 farmers committed suicide in West Vidarbha in 2006; 560 in 2005 and 456 in 2004. "After this government came to power in 2004, officials promised that they would provide free 24-hour non-stop power supply to farmers; price cotton procurement at the rate of Rs 2,700 per quintal through the Cotton Federation, and waive the loans to make every cotton farmer debt-free. But they went back on their promises, with the result that since the CongressNationalist Congress Party government came to power, more than 3,000 farmers have committed suicide," Mr Tiwari added. The Congress-NCP coalition, according to Mr Tiwari, went back on every promise: ¦ The government stopped the existing free power scheme to Vidarbha farmers and imposed 12-hour daily power cuts in rural Vidarbha. ¦ It also stopped giving advance bonus in the cotton monopoly scheme at a rate of Rs 2,500 per quintal to cotton farmers and gave only Rs 1,700 per quintal

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