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Friday, 10 June 2016

High Court asks state govt to submit drought committee report

YDERABAD: A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday directed the Telangana government to place before it the report of the committee that was instrumental in identifying and declaring various mandals in the state as drought-hit. The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice P Naveen Rao was passing this direction in a petition filed by Congress MLA T Jeevan Reddy of
Jagtial Assembly constituency in Karimnagar district. The MLA was challenging the decision of the state government for not including some mandals in Karimnagar district in the drought-hit mandals list in spite of recommendations of district collector. Senior counsel Sarasani Satyam Reddy, appearing for the Congress MLA, pointed out that though the district collector had recommended for inclusion of 40 mandals in the district as adversely drought-affected, the state included only 19 mandals in the list. About 21 mandals which were reeling under the ill-effects of the drought were left out. In fact, parameters like less rainfall and reduction in extent of crop and production were all there in these mandals but the state government failed to take them into consideration, he noted. The senior counsel further said that except for Katalapur mandal, entire Jagtial sub-division which was severely affected has been left out and gross injustice was done to Karimnagar district when compared to districts like Nizamabad and Medak, where the entire district was declared drought-hit. If these areas were included in the list, the drought-hit farmers would get benefits like crop damage compensation in the form of input subsidy, rescheduling of crop loans etc., he added. When the bench pointed out what was the basis for declaration of drought-hit mandals, the Telangana state counsel submitted that the government has constituted a committee to study based on their recommendations they declared drought-hit mandals in the state. The bench directed the counsel to place the report before the court within two weeks to examine whether the committee has considered all the aspects or not in recommending the government in declaring the drought mandals. While posting the matter after two weeks for further hearing, the bench directed both the parties to furnish photos in support of their claims.

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