A 36-year-old farmer suffered a loss of over Rs. 50,000 when the land he was growing vegetables on was dumped with debris from the building collapse.

Ompal, belonging to Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun, is farming summer vegetables including okra, gourd, and beans on the three bhiga land he had taken on lease.

“Half of it is destroyed because after the building collapsed, operation team dumped tonnes of debris on the farm. People also walked across the field ruining the yield,” he said adding that he bought seeds worth Rs. 33,000 for the vegetables.

Source of livelihood

Ompal and his wife Kanti have been living in the area for the last 14 years and growing seasonal vegetables. They have to support their own family of eight including six children including four daughters and two sons. “Four of my children are studying. I also have to send money to my family in Bihar. For us, this money meant a lot,” he said.

The farmer said that he feels terrible about the lives that were lost in the tragedy but he is unaware on how to recover the monetary loss. “The situation is such that I can not even blame anyone. I just have to suffer it quietly. I asked the officers who were dumping the debris, they told me they don not have any other option,” Ompal said.

A police officer at the spot, hearing the conversation, intervened, “Human lives are more important than loss of property”. Ompal remained quiet.

Wall bulldozed

The farmer couple also mentioned that the wall dividing the farm and the residential area was also bulldozed during the operation; an issue, residents are also troubled with. “The wall made us feel safe and its presence meant that people will not walk over the fields destroying the vegetables. Now, I stay up all night to make sure nobody enters. We do not know when it will be built again,” Ompal said.

The situation is such that I can not even blame anyone. I just have to suffer it quietly. I asked the officers who were dumping the debris, they told me they don not have any other option

Ompal

Farmer

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