Friday, 26 August 2016

Andhra Pradesh: Farmers take on seed firm, reap reward

By Udumula Sudhakar Reddy

In a significant case, 26 farmers from Kurnool have won a major battle against seed giant Syngenta India Limited and local distributors in consumer forum.

The Kurnool district consumer forum has asked the seed companies to pay compensation to farmers for failure of crop based on the witness of agriculture scientists who testified that the seeds have poor fertility rate.

The case also highlights lack of DNA lab in AP to test quality of seeds.
T. Salanna a resident of Mandlam in Jupadu Bungalow mandal in Kurnool district, one of the 26 complainants, filed the case against Syngenta India Limited, Sainath Seeds, Pallavai Hybrid seeds of Nandikotkur demanding compensation of Rs 1.11 lakh plus interest.

“I own 2.4 acres fertile land, suitable for sunflower crop. All necessary precautions for sowing, and for proper growth of crop were taken applying necessary fertiliser and necessary pesticide.

I spent of Rs15,000  per acre for raising the sunflower crop. But there was no grain filling in the flower heads and thus no yield from the crop,” alleged Salanna.

He lodged a complaint with department of agriculture and a team of scientists from Regional Agriculture Research Station, Nandyal, inspected the field of Subbanna Goud as a sample field.

Their finding clearly established that the seed supplied was defective.
Syngenta and others argued that  raising of crop and getting good yield was not dependent only on seeds, but also on other factors like agricultural practises and procedure, environment etc.

The company claimed that after conducting germination test and genetic purity, it was satisfied that there was no fault in genetic purity and germination of the seeds. The company also said that no DNA test reports were produced by the complainant.

However, the consumer forum ruled in favour of farmer after being convinced with the evidence and directed the seed defendants to Rs 51,660 to Salanna with interest of 9 per cent and Rs 5,000 towards deficiency and Rs 2,000 towards costs. Other farmers also got compensation ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh depending on the extent of acres.

Forum admits success rate of IVF is 40 pc in Hyderabad

By Udumula Sudhakar Reddy

Accepting the claim of an infertility centre that the success rate of IVF is only 40 per cent and the “take home baby” rate is 25 per cent, the Kadapa District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has rejected compensation claims filed by four women. The women had filed complaints against the centre stating that each of them had paid Rs 3.2 lakh for IVF but the procedure had failed due to negligence. However, the forum ruled in favour of the infertility centre as the women could not produce proper documentation.

Velpula Jshvina Kumari, Pasala Nagamani, J. Subbalakshmi and P. Lalitha had lodged separate complaints against the Padma Test Tube Center at Proddutur, represented by Dr Y. Padmalatha. All the allegations were of a similar nature.

One of the complainants, P. Nagamani, a resident of Railway Quarters in Kadapa city, said that she had been childless despite being married for eight years. After seeing an advertisement of Padama Test Tube Centre in 2012, she had approached the centre and was assured 99 per cent success rate. Her counsel argued: “There were around 12 other persons who underwent the same treatment on the date when the petitioner took treatment and all the cases failed. After few days of starting treatment, the respondent stated that the eggs would be transmitted from unmarried people from Tamil Nadu to the petitioner and the same would cost Rs 80,000. After two months, semen from the petitioner’s husband was collected and there were periodical tests and medicine was being prescribed till about February 2013. The amounts collected were Rs 1,50,000 towards fees, medicines of Rs 80,000 and Rs 80,000 to the unmarried people. For HIV tests an additional Rs 30,000 was collected. Despite investing money the procedure failed due to negligence of the centre.”

The counsel for Padma Test Tube Centre refuted the allegations and stated: “It is false that the respondent doctor had given wide publicity in newspapers and TV. The allegations of the amounts collected are also false. The eggs are not collected from unmarried people but from married people. The respondent doctor never assured that there would be 100 per cent success. IVF success rate is 40 per cent and take home baby rate is 25 per cent...The complainant became pregnant. It was a missed abortion.”

The forum dismissed the arguments of the complainants as for most of the allegations they failed to produce documents whereas the responding party produced medical records to prove them wrong.

UAE deports ISIS recruiter--- TS police helped Dubai nab Adnan who drafted city youths

Three ISIS sympathisers including one Adnan Damudi, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka who was detained in November last year in Dubai based on the information provided by the Telangana
police, were deported by the UAE on Friday.
Two others, Mohammed Farhan and Sheikh Azhar
Al Islam of Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir, respectively, were also deported. They were taken
into custody at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi by the National Investigation
Agency. It has also been alleged that the trio, from the Abu Dhabi module of ISIS, was planning to carry out terror attacks in the country.
The NIA, after registering a case, is questioning the suspects and a formal arrest is expected soon. Damudi, 33, was an online recruiter for the ISIS who had played a key role in radicalising several youths from Hyderabad and had motivated them towards jihadi terrorism. Adnan was an assistant delivery coordinator at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. Police said he had got radicalised and funded the four engineering college dropouts, including Abdul Basith of Chandrayan-gutta, to travel to Syria.
The TS police had detain-ed them near Malda in West Bengal and brought them back to Hyderabad in August 2014. Damudi had instigated the youths to get in touch with one Sultan Armar who had directed them to travel to Bangladesh.

Suicide for toilet: Probe into Rekha’s suicide

By Udumula Sudhakar Reddy

The Telangana government has asked the Nalgonda district administration to conduct a detailed inquiry into the suicide of K. Rekha and the issue of lack of toilets in Gundala.
Bhongir RDO N. Madhusudhan and deputy SP visited the family of K. Rekha on Wednesday. Rekha ended her life as her dad refused to construct a toilet due to financial problems. The officials were also asked to chalk out an action plan to construct Individual House Hold Latrines (IHHL).

Bhongir RDO N. Madhusudhan said, “After the report appeared in DC senior IAS official Radha asked collector Satyanarayana Reddy to conduct an enquiry and file a report. As the collector
instructed us we visited the village. It is true that Rekha committed suicide as they don’t have a
toilet. However, her father Sattaiah has no place to construct a toilet. His name is there in
the eligibility list for IHHL.
 But as he has no space he didn’t approach us.” Mr Madhusudhan added, “We have sanctioned 90 toilets in the same village. Now we are going to ensure that all houses get individual toilets. The collector asked us to send proposals to provide ex-gratia to Rekha’s family  treating it as a special case.”


Little impact of Swachh Bharat in Gundala

By Udumula  Sudhakar Reddy

What they know about Swachh Bharat is only from TV ads. Ironically the Swachh Bharat toilet
scheme has little impact in Gundala mandal in fact in the entire Aleru constituency.
TRS local MLA and chief whip G. Sunita has selected Seetharampuram, the village she adopted for the Swachh Bharat scheme. While Gundala mandal has 20 villages only two villages are selected including Seetharamapur. The Gundala village where the suicide of Rekha took place, the panchayat is ruled by an opposition Congress sarpanch.
Gundala Mandal Parishat Development Officer, J. Ravinder said, “Two villages Seetarampur and Gangapur are selected under Swachh Bharat individual household latrine scheme. We have proposed a total of six villages and two are selected for now. In the next phases other villages will be covered. While in Gangapur that has been adopted by the MRO around 30 units of IHHL are sanctioned in Seetarampur around 245 is the target and we have sanctioned 80 so far. The construction is in progress in both villages.
Likewise, under MNREGA scheme, Gundala village sarpanch M. Sunita said, “We have been trying to educate the villagers and most of them do not come forward due to illiteracy and lack of  awareness.”
 Interestingly both Swachh Bharat and MNREGA under which IHHL are constructed are central government funded schemes. The money that is being sanctioned under the scheme is `12,000 which is not sufficient as it would cost anywhere around `20,000 to `25,000.
Mr Ravinder said, “It is true that the money is not sufficient. The beneficiaries have to bear it from their pocket so they don’t come forward.  Though poverty is the reason in some cases there is negligence, lack of awareness and unwillingness is also a cause for this situation.” In each mandal government has selected two to three villages under Swacch Bharat scheme in a total of 59 mandals in Nalgonda district in the first phase.