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Supreme Court criticizes Tamil Nadu govt for not providing relief to farmers

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-04-2017 Apurva Vishwanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday criticized the Tamil Nadu government for not stepping in to provide relief to farmers in the state.

“The case depicts a picture which has the potentiality to disturb the conscience of any sensitive soul, for it relates to deaths of farmers, which has its significance in a society where agriculture is of paramount importance and most of the farmers exclusively depend upon the same for their sustenance,” a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra said.

The court was hearing a case filed by Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation seeking the court’s intervention in providing relief to farmers affected by drought in the state.

The court also made oral observations that the state cannot wait for the Centre to act during a “humanitarian crisis.”

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This observation by the SC comes at a time when scores of farmers from Tamil Nadu are protesting for over a month at the national capital Delhi, for loan waiver and other relief measures.

In January, Tamil Nadu, which is facing its worst drought in 140 years, declared all 32 districts as drought-affected and urged the Centre to sanction relief amount of Rs39,565 crore.

On 1 April, the Centre released Rs1,712.10 crore to Tamil Nadu, 4% of what the state government had sought from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to mitigate the farm crisis.

A group of farmers from the state are also protesting in Delhi for over 30 days now, seeking a waiver of farm debt.

Dharani Thangavelu contributed to the story.

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