West Odisha ryots seek pro-farmer policy

Thousands of farmers under the banner of Sambalpur Zilla Krushak Surakhya Sangathan turned up at the ‘Chetawani Samabesh’ here in protest against State Government’s indifference towards them on Wednesday.

They came in a rally to the Town Hall ground where a public meeting was held. The farmers accused the Government of taking them for a ride.

Urging the Government to hike the minimum support price (MSP) and declare bonus on paddy, they said handing over mobile phones when farmers were committing suicide was meaningless and would not help them in any way.

Maintaining that the hike of MSP to `1310 per quintal was too little and too late, they demanded that the Government should compensate the farmers by declaring bonus of `300 per quintal of paddy.

They also demanded uniform law on procurement process across the State, preventing procurement agencies devoid of infrastructure and funds from procurement, assuring minimum return to farmers by setting up a farmers’ commission, social security coverage for farmers and change in relief code.

The farmers also vented their ire against Hindalco for its failure in finding a permanent solution to crop loss in the villages located in the periphery of its smelter plant at Hirakud due to fluoride emission. Giving an ultimatum of two weeks to the district administration to resolve the issue, they warned that they would paralyse Hindalco if the issue is not sorted out within the specified time.

Convenor of Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti (POKSSS) Ashok Pradhan said similar protests were held in Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Balangir and Boudh districts on Wednesday. He added that if the State Government fails to take any measures, they would hold a similar ‘Samabesh’ in Bhubaneswar.

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