However, against the sanctioned amount of Rs 6.55 crore for the scheme, the department has received only Rs 1.75 crore. As a result farmers are not receiving their pensions on time. V S Dhanik, director of the social welfare directorate, said, “ A request for more money has been forwarded to the government and we expect help soon.”
3,465 farmers are eligible for the scheme from Pauri district followed by 2,611 from Haridwar district. Other eligible farmers are from Nainital (2,291 ), Pithoragrah (1,985), Tehri (1,980), Uttarkashi (1,599), Almora (1,517), Udham Singh Nagar (1,489), Champawat (1,350), Chamoli (1,048), Rudraprayag (878), Dehradun (825) and Bageshwar (795) districts.
A farmer who is due to get pension under the scheme told TOI, “We voted for this government in hope of a better life, not to increase our misery. We toil for the entire nation and this is what we get in return.”
Despite the state government’s claim of being farmer-friendly, a number of farmers especially those in hilly terrains claim they are yet to receive any benefits. Of the total 4.09 lakh farmers in five hill districts of the state, only 1.12 lakh have Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) which help farmers to avail loans at low interests.
Over 2.26 lakh families of farmers have migrated from the hill districts of Uttarakhand since the state’s inception in 2000. According to the 2011 census, as many as 2,26,949 farmers left farming and migrated to other places and became daily wage earners.