Chandigarh: Lodging their resentment against the state government and management of a sugar mill in Mukerian, over 25 farmers have tilled their sugarcane fields spread over 250 acres of land. The sugarcane growers have switched over the traditional crops facing losses and alleged harassment on the hands of certain favourites of the mill management in last three years.
Sugarcane farmers are not happy with the kind of support they get from government.
The farmers alleged that the mill management has been issuing slips to their favourites without following the calendar system. The step-motherly treatment given by the management to the farmers with whom the company has signed agreement for sale of their produce, they alleged back door entry is given to certain influential and close associates of the mill for supplying their tractor loads of sugarcane while the genuine farmers have to wait for their turn for months, alleged Gurjinder Singh, a sugarcane grower.
“The mill management had adopted pick and choose policy for issuing ‘slips’ to farmers of transporting their produce for milling,” alleged Sajjan Singh, a farmer of Chakk village, who tilled his 15 acres of sugarcane field. At the time of setting up of the mill here, the company had signed a special agreement with farmers of four villages after acquiring land from them. “Under the agreement they villagers were given privilege to supply their produce on priority basis through a separate gate. But with passage of the time, a majority of the villagers gave up sowing sugarcane,” recalled Sulakhan Singh Jaggi of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader of Mukerian.
“Now taking benefits of that clause, certain middlemen in connivance with the mill management are supply sugarcane from other villages showing it from these villages. This has further compounded the problem of local farmers,” added Jaggi. Ranjit Singh of Chak Allabakash village, lamented that despite of working hard for six months in fields he had to lined up in queues for getting ‘slips’ and that too quite less as he deserved. “I decided to say thanks to sugarcane farming and switched over to tradition farming of wheat and paddy,” he said. The chief cane manager of the mill Sanjay Singh, however, refuted the allegations saying that the calendar system was strictly followed.
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