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Telangana legislature rocked by farmer suicides

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Hyderabad: The spate of suicides by farmers in Telangana rocked both houses of the state legislature on Tuesday.

Voicing concern over the suicides, the state government said it was taking all steps to help the farmers overcome the hardships.

Suspending question hour and other business, both houses took up a debate on the issue, which was marred by allegations and counter-allegations by the ruling and opposition parties.

In the legislative council, opposition parties demanded the house observe silence in memory of the farmers who committed suicide but the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) turned down the demand.

Council chairman Swamy Goud said the house can pay its condolences after the debate.

Despite best efforts of the government to help the farmers, they end lives due to crop damage due to deficit rainfall, Agriculture Minister P Srinivas Reddy said while making a statement in the assembly.

For the present situation, the minister blamed policies of the successive governments in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The agriculture sector was neglected for decades. The irrigation projects were not taken up while minor irrigation system was totally ignored, he said, blaming depleting ground water table and erratic electricity supply among other reasons for the farmers’ distress.

Sowing operations were taken up across the state with good rains in the beginning of the season in June. However, a dry spell for more than 25 days led to rainfall deficit of 66 percent.

The rains in August and September brought down the deficit to 14 percent, 50 to 70 percent crops were damaged in five districts, he said.

In Mahabubnagar district, 100 percent crops were damaged, the minister said.

This year various crops were cultivated in the area of 35.13 lakh hectares, which includes over 26 lakh hectares rainfed crops and nine lakh hectares irrigated crops.

Srinivas Reddy said under the Rs 17,000 crore loan waiver scheme for farmers, the government spent only a 50 percent amount.

The government will consider providing the remaining amount in one go to provide relief to farmers, he said.

The government also increased compensation for farmer suicide deaths from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

The minister said 430 famers ended their lives in last 15 months. The opposition parties however alleged that 1,400 famers committed suicide since the separate state came into existence in June last year.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 898 farmers committed suicides in Telangana during 2014. It was the second highest number in the country after Maharashtra, which reported 2,568 farmer suicide deaths.

Participating in the debate, main opposition Congress Party’s Jeevan Reddy and Telugu Desam Party’s E Dayakar Rao said the implementation of loan waiver scheme in installments was leading to suicides.

(IANS)

For more, read:

Farmer suicide: Telangana farmer climbs phone tower, threatens to jump

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Telangana Becomes First Indian State to Enable Commercial Drone Deliveries

"The Telangana Drone City will provide one-of-its-kind facilities to support the research, manufacturing, and operations of RPAS technology suites," said Jayesh Ranjan

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Drone, Senegal, Africa, Innovation, Waste
Diop says that through the internet, he’s been able to communicate with other drone makers in France and China to chat about their experiences. Wikimedia Commons

Telangana has sought the civil aviation regulator’s certification for Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations to become the first Indian state to enable commercial drone deliveries, an official said on Thursday.

The state government, along with private drone industry players Terra Drone India, Zipline, and Marut Drones, have submitted a proposal to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

According to the state Information Technology, Electronics & Communications Department, Telangana wants to achieve the status of ‘BVLOS Compliant’ geography, becoming the first Indian state to support commercial drone deliveries.

Principal Secretary, Industries, Commerce, and ITE&C, Jayesh Ranjan believes that BVLOS operations, if conducted within a regulated framework of safety in consultation with law enforcement agencies, will be crucial to tap into the true potential of drone technologies.

commercial drone deliveries, telangana
“The induction of these technologies into mainstream administration and governance delivery can make a remarkable positive impact on the lives of millions of citizens,” he said. VOA

“The induction of these technologies into mainstream administration and governance delivery can make a remarkable positive impact on the lives of millions of citizens,” he said.

BVLOS flights will be able to bridge the urban and rural technological divide. The widespread adoption of BVLOS drone operations is also expected to revolutionize industries like oil and gas, utilities, and insurance with highly geo-accurate aerial data.

Medical product delivery company Zipline, in partnership with the state government, plans to use BVLOS drone flights for emergencies like delivery of blood and critical medicines to remote primary healthcare centres. The initiative will be first-of-its-kind in India, as well as in the Asia Pacific region.

The ITE&C Department has facilitated several pilot projects for drones in the past, including the use of drones for precision agriculture, agricultural spraying, volumetric analysis of mines, and flood modeling.

commercial drone deliveries, telangana
The widespread adoption of BVLOS drone operations is also expected to revolutionize industries like oil and gas, utilities, and insurance with highly geo-accurate aerial data. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Amazon Now Planning to Offer “Surveillance Services” with Delivery Drones

The department is also in the final stages of conceptualizing a ‘Telangana Drone City’, wherein an entire ecosystem will be developed only for the support of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) technologies. “The Telangana Drone City will provide one-of-its-kind facilities to support the research, manufacturing, and operations of RPAS technology suites,” said Jayesh Ranjan.

“The Government of Telangana has a leader-board position in the promotion of Fifth Generation technologies. The vision of Jayesh Ranjan is to ensure that India and the region do not lose out on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This has resulted in a slew of comprehensive policy and industry support initiatives like the one being undertaken for BVLOS projects,” said Wing Cdr Polu Sreedhar, COO, Terra Drone India. (IANS)