Wednesday, 15 August 2018

In Crop Insurance/PMFBY - Remote Sensing Play Major Role in near future

Firm rejects Rs 390-cr crop insurance claims in 2 dists

An insurance company, ICICI Lombard, has rejected crop insurance claims of Rs 390 crore of Sirsa and Bhiwani districts for the 2017 kharif season, leading to unrest among farmers.
The Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department had assessed the claims through crop-cutting experiments (CCEs) carried out in the fields have been “rejected” by the ICICI Lombard.
The insurance company is contesting the methodology in CCEs and has quoted satellite evidence to prove its point, while the department alleges the matter was never raised when it settled the claims in five other districts where the amount of losses was lower. But it is disputing claims in Sirsa and Bhiwani as the amount of losses is higher.
In Sirsa district, claims worth Rs 170 crore of cotton crop are pending and, in Bhiwani district, claims worth Rs 220 crore of bajra crop are pending.
“The company has already received premium for the rabi crop and it will move to some other district now as a company is assigned a cluster of districts only for two years. Initially, company officials continued buying time. First, they sought time till June 1, then till July 20 and then till August 2. Now, they have refused to settle the claims,” alleged Vikal Pachar, president, Akhil Bharatiya Swaminathan Aayog Sangharsh Samiti, Sirsa.
Dusmanta Kumar Bahera, Director of the department, said: “The insurance company has wrongly disputed the claims. The department has taken up the matter with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Centre constituted under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).”
He said the meeting of the TAC was to be held in New Delhi on Monday, but it was put off due to some reason.
A spokesperson for ICICI Lombard, however, claimed that the CCE schedules were not shared with the company for co-observance and even where company’s officials were involved, data mismatch have been found.
“The company resorted to Remote Sensing Technology (RST) analysis using normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI). The results showed that our stand was correct. We have placed the evidence before the TAC, which is to take the final call,” the company said.
On why the matter of the CCEs was not raised in other districts, ICICI Lombard said the anomalies were mainly observed in multiple-harvesting crops such as cotton.


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