Farmers continue road blockade against non-procurement of paddy

Malkangiri: Contrary to the tall claims by administration , the farmers of Pitagata area under Korukonda block have been   blocked the traffic   on  road for since Saturday last due to non procurement of paddy. Protesting against the alleged harassment of paddy growers due to non-procurement of their paddy crop, hundreds of farmers are still sitting on dharna with their paddy bags, sources said. The farmers also raised slogans against the procurement agencies. Ignoring the chilled weather, the farmers are sitting on dharna since Saturday.

Near about 7000 quintals of paddy are lying at the procurement centre (mandi) at Pitagata, some 15 km from here since Saturday. The Korukonda LAMPS staffs who were supposed to procure the paddy at the centre on Saturday didn’t not turn up till Saturday evening.

The farmers got frustrated over the fact that they had been waiting for the past many days to get their produce procured without any delay. However, the farmers alleged that they were being harassed by the officials concerned on flimsy grounds. When their repeated pleas failed to move the authorities concerned, they felt that they had no other option but to block traffic on the main road, sources said.

Though the farmers had appealed to officials of the state government to start procuring paddy, which had been reaching the purchase centre, they failed to get any positive response.

Though the irate farmers have blocked the road at Pitagata protesting the callous attitude of the authorities concerned, no officials were visited the procurement centre or made any arrangement to purchase the paddy lying at the ‘mandi’ since Saturday.

Mean while, most of the debt ridden farmers who are worried over the heavy damage of their crops due to drought like situation told to this correspondent that they would further intensify the agitation if the procurement doesn’t begins tomorrow.

The procurement target of the Korukonda lamps authority has been increased and the agency has been directed to begin the paddy procurement soon, said Collector Balwant Singh.

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