Farmers in Rajasthan to Vote Against Land Auction Notices and Irrigation Charges
The biggest talking point in Neolkhi – a small village in the interiors of agriculture-dependent Hanumangarh in Rajasthan – has been Maya Devi, a widow from Chalasari village in Rawatsar tehsil. Her 25 bighas of land was auctioned at a throwaway price of Rs 11 lakh in January this year. Usually, the rate for one bigha in the region is approximately Rs 4 lakh.
Discussing the matter at a makeshift vegetable mandi in Neolkhi, the old men of the village have just one thing to say. Had the bank given her the option to repay the loan by allowing her to sell the property, she could have saved nearly 20 bighas of land.
It didn’t end there. For the past year, Radhe Shyam, another farmer from the gram panchayat, was struggling to pay the interest to renew his Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan for this season. He heard about the auction and it occurred to him that he would meet the same fate.
In 2012, Shyam took a KCC loan of Rs 8 lakh from the Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) branch in Rawatsar. In 2015, he was served the first auction notice for the Rs 10.8 lakh he owed to the bank.