New Delhi: A total of 5,650 farmers committed suicide in 2014, with the maximum deaths being reported from Maharashtra, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, official data has revealed.
According to the “Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2014” report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Friday evening, of the 5,650 farmers’ suicides, 5,178 were men and 472 were women.
“The highest incidents of 2,568 farmers’ suicides were in Maharashtra (45.5 percent), followed by 898 suicides in Telangana (15.9 percent) and 826 in Madhya Pradesh (14.6 percent),” the data revealed.
“Telangana reported the maximum cases of female farmer suicides at 31.1 percent followed closely by Madhya Pradesh (29.2 percent), and Maharashtra (14.1 percent),” it added.
Bankruptcy or indebtedness and family problems were major causes behind the suicides, accounting for 20.6 percent and 20.1 percent of the deaths respectively.
Other causes included crop failure (16.8 percent) and illness (13.2 percent).
The report revealed that 65.75 percent of the farmers who committed suicide were in the age group of 30 to 60 years, while 59 were below 18 years of age.
Even though 15 people took their lives every hour in 2014, the overall suicide figures witnessed a drop from 1,34,799 in 2013 to 1,31,666 in 2014, the NCRB said.
Here again, Maharashtra reported the maximum suicides (16,307), followed closely by Tamil Nadu (16,122) and West Bengal (14,310).
In addition, Bhopal reported a significant increase in the number of suicides — from 384 in 2013 to 1064 in 2014, an increase of 177 percent, while suicides declined by 78.7 percent in Kanpur — from 648 in 2013 to 138 in 2014.
* An unseasonal ‘Diwali’ has suddenly been ushered on the island
* The official is hopeful that now, the Islanders can get better educational institutions, boost tourism
Seventy years after Independence, a 7.5-km long undersea cable has finally brought electricity to the world-famous Gharapuri Isle, which houses the UNESCO World Heritage site Elephanta Caves, about 10-km from Mumbai, a top official said here on Thursday.
The project to electrify the island, thronged daily by thousands of Indian and foreign tourists, has cost a total of Rs 25 crore and was completed in 15 months, said Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. Regional Director Satish Karape.
“This is India’s longest undersea power cable which took around three months to lay. Plus, we have installed a transformer in each of the three villages, six streetlight towers each 13-metre tall with six powerful LED bulbs and provided individual power meter connections to 200 domestic and a few commercial consumers. Intensive testing over past three days has been successful,” Karape told IANS.
A function will be held at the island later in the day when renowned social reformer Appasaheb Dharmadhikari will formally ‘switch on’ the power supply in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, his ministers Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Jaykumar Raval, Ravindra, and other dignitaries.
Karape said that of the total project cost, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority gave Rs 18.50 crore while the rest had been borne from the MSEDCL’s own resources.
The 22-KV cable has four lines, including one exclusive standby line, to ensure 24×7 high-quality power to the Islanders with sufficient excess capacity to take care of future requirements for more than 30 years, he explained.
An unseasonal ‘Diwali’ has suddenly been ushered on the island, which used to be plunged into darkness after dusk in the absence of electricity at the three villages — Raj Bander, Mora Bander and Shet Bander — housing around 1,200 people, mostly engaged in fishing, farming, boat-repairs and tourism-related activities.
Since the past few years, however, the villagers managed with just three hours electricity courtesy power generators provided by the state government, but these were expensive and unreliable.
The previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party regime had initiated the proposal, but it fell through as the tender attracted a single bid, and later the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government revived the proposal almost two years ago.
The 22-KV cable has been connected directly with the MSEDCL’s Olwa sub-station, Panvel Division in Raigad on the mainland, Karape said.
The official is hopeful that now, the Islanders can get better educational institutions, boost tourism — probably with the overnight stay, subject to other governmental clearances — install a lighthouse on the isle’s hilltop, and even power the Elephanta Caves if the Archaeological Survey of India permits.
Since a small dam exists on this 16-sq km island, a water filtration plant can be set up to provide safe and clean drinking water to the locals and tourists, who now rely on bottled mineral water.
The power connection is also expected to speed up work on the proposed 8-km long ropeway connecting Mumbai directly with Elephanta Island running above the Arabian Sea, planned by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), and billed as a boon to nearly two million tourists who visit it annually.
Inhabited since the 2nd Century BC, the island has seven big and small rock-cut caves temples carved between 5th-6th Centuries AD. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
The island also has two large British-era canons atop the hill.
Presently, the thickly-forested island abounds in monkeys and other creatures, is accessible only by an hour-long voyage by motorboats and launches from Gateway of India or Raigad, with the compulsory return in the evening.