Toddy-tapping accidents: Ex gratia amount to victims hiked to 5 lakhs
Hyderabad: The State Government would take immediate steps to implement its assurance of hiking ex gratia amount from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs to be paid as compensation to the toddy tappers, who accidentally died while climbing the trees.
This was stated by Minister for Excise Padma Rao while replying to a question in the Telangana Assembly on Friday. He explained that though the ex gratia was fixed at Rs 2 lakhs earlier, the State Government had agreed to increase it to Rs 5 lakhs. A GO in this regard was ready and awaiting Chief Minister’s signature.
Padma Rao also said the government was also keen on improving the living conditions of toddy tappers in the State. One of the measures being considered was to help toddy tappers to go in for mechanized methods to procure toddy instead of the age-old practice of climbing up the trees. He said the mechanized form of toddy tapping being practiced in Kerala State was studied and the same would be introduced in the State soon, he said, adding that steps would be taken to raise and grow toddy and palm trees using drip-irrigation system.
In reply to supplementary questions by members, the Excise Minister made it clear that toddy shops should be run by only those belonging to the Goud community, who are mainly engaged in toddy tapping. If others are found running or permitted to run the toddy shops they would be severely dealt with, he warned. -NSS