The joy of gaining separate statehood has been brief and marred by looming drought situation in the new 29th state of India. Lack of rainfall in Telangana has resulted in arid farmlands and parched agricultural fields, which leave no option for farmers and they choose suicide as a way to get out of debt burden trap after crop failure.
Monsoon Deficits and Farmer Suicides
This season Telangana is facing the most acute monsoon deficit in the whole country and many farmers are selecting suicide as their last option. According to data available from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there have already been 100 cases of suicide by farmers in the 2 months after creation of the new state.
According to Meteorological department, the situation is not expected to improve any further in the coming days. In a period of three months, rainfall deficit in the state is at forty-eight percent while it is nineteen percent for rest of the country.
Lack of Anti-drought Measures
The most disappointing thing however is the lack of any planning or anti-drought measures to solve this problem, which occurs every year. Some of the other factors that are making lack of rainfall a critical issue are the underdevelopment of irrigation system, lack of industrialization or efforts to develop other skills, which people can use to sustain their lives. The authorities are also not paying any heed to this increase in suicide rate and there is no political will to solve this issue, politicians are instead engaging themselves in blame game.
Blame Game by Politicians
Recently the new irrigation minister of Telangana put the blame on neighboring state Andhra Pradesh by saying that there has been no attempt by the Andhra Pradesh government to provide proper water facility to farmers in Telangana. Similarly, the central government has made several plans and there is no system in place to monitor whether these are being implemented on the ground level or not.
As for example, the central government has advised states to keep proper stocks of drought tolerant as well as short duration crop varieties so that these can be supplied to farmers when need arises. State governments have also been advised to develop structures to harvest water and de-silt canals to improve irrigation facilities.
However, the problem is that no one is monitoring whether the state governments are implementing them or not since these directives from central government are in the form of advisories, which many of the state governments are not following.
Thus as we can see political parties will have to stop blaming each other and take positive steps which will help precious lives of farmers in Telangana. By implementing anti-drought measures the governments will be able easily reduce the suicide rates in the region.