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Debt-ridden MP farmers find relief in death

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Bhopal: A number of farmers in different parts of Madhya Pradesh are today faced with a life they cannot comprehend. They say they have suffered loss of crops, and received no relief — barring through the embrace of death.

Lalan Yadav of Damoh district on Friday committed suicide by pouring Kerosene and setting himself on fire in his fields as he found the crop loss was too much for him to bear.

Surender Lodhi in Sagar city was another. He had taken a loan before sowing his crops. But after his crops were ruined this season due to scanty rains, his hope to repay the loan lay shattered. He hanged himself to death.

Hardly any day passes when there is no report of a farmer committing suicide in the state.

Farmers contend that the leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party make big promises of helping them but nothing happens in reality. Besides, many politicians make such hurtful statements after visiting them that it appears they are making a mockery of the farmers’ plight.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has assured all possible help for the farmers, but assistance or debt relief is yet to come.

“Due to dismissive attitude of the government towards farmers’ plight, these people are compelled to commit suicides,” Congress leader Ajay Singh said.

Badal Saroj of the Communist Party of India-Marxist here says: “The reason behind rising number of farmers’ suicides is that the person (Shivraj Singh) who claims being son of a farmer does not understand the agony of farmers.”

Aam Aadmi Party’s spokesperson Alok Agarwal said the assurances of relief given to farmers sound fraudulent. Farming has turned a loss-making business as farmers fail to recover even the basic in-put costs and their debt keeps on rising.

“The government should fix price of crops one and half times the cost calculated as per Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations. Effort should be made to reduce farmers’ debts,” he added.

As many as 141 tehsils (sub-districts) have been declared drought-affected in the state. The Madhya Pradesh government has sought Rs 15,000 crore help from the central government, which is yet to come, officials say.

(IANS)

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.