Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Don’t leave tenants to landowners’ Mercy: Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government go to the rescue of tenants who suffered crop losses following unprecedented floods in River Krishna and its tributaries.

Talking to the media, party spokesmen Katari Srinivasa Rao and Dr. P. Bhaskara Rao said that the Government as of now seemed to have abdicated its responsibility of extending any assistance. Going by the Chief Minister’s pronouncements, the Government had left the tenants to the mercy of landowners for receiving any assistance it rendered to landowners for loss of crops. Apparently, the Government which promised facilitation of bank loans to tenants also had not come up with a mechanism to identify tenants.

The Lok Satta leaders suggested that the Government find a way out to compensate tenants who could not claim any compensation for want of evidence to establish they are tenants. (Landowners do not enter into formal lease deeds with tenants fearing they might be deprived of their land one day or the other, although they orally lease their lands). A welfare-oriented Government should view the problem from a humanitarian angle, the party leaders pleaded.

The Lok Satta leaders said that rendering assistance to flood victims had been characterized by chaos, delays and corruption because local governments had been weakened by centralized rule for more than two decades. Even to this day, the Government has not succeeded in directing the flow of relief material to the deserving.

Accustomed to centralized rule, people looked to the Chief Minister to listen to them and redress their problems. The Chief Minister should, therefore, ensure that the aid reached the last flood victim, without losing patience over people’s grievances.

The spokesmen announced that party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan would be visiting Guntur and Krishna districts on October 15 and 16. Leaving Guntur in the morning on October 15, he will be visiting Oleru and flood bank villages and Repalle. On October 16, he will be visiting the flood-affected areas in Vijayawada city and some villages in Avanigadda mandal.

The party faulted the State Government decision permitting private, gas-based power producers to sell 20 percent of the power generated to whomever they wanted. They should be permitted such sales only after the State’s power requirements were met. The power producers should sell the 20 percent of power also to distribution companies in the State at rates agreed to earlier.

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