Bleak Diwali for Kathgarh farmers as paddy still to be lifted | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Bleak Diwali for Kathgarh farmers as paddy still to be lifted

punjab Updated: Nov 12, 2012 21:18 IST
Jatinder Kohli

This Diwali has not been bright for farmers of Kathgarh, as their paddy has not been lifted due to non-availability of trucks and the area rice miller's refusal to store the bags.

The market has turned into a storage yard, which has madder movement difficult and increased the woes of farmers and commission agents.

Around 55,000 paddy bags were lying in the market on Saturday morning and after that the administration arranged rice-millers from outside Kathgarh. Some bags were lifted, but still more than 50,000 bags remained in the market.

Speaking with Hindustan Times, Kathgarh grain market supervisor Dharam Pal said that there was only one rice miller in the area, who used to store around 1-1.5 lakh paddy bags at his sheller over the past years. However, this year the miller had refused to store more than 57,000 paddy bags, due to undisclosed reasons.

"After the Kathgarh rice miller's refusal, it took us some time to find storage space in other mills in Rahon, Nawanshahr. These millers started lifting paddy bags on Saturday afternoon and around 4500 paddy bags were lifted. Trucks have also been in short supply, being busy in special (lifting for central pool) at Rohtak, which once again resulted in no lifting from here." He admitted that around 50,000 paddy bags were still lying in the market.

Sources in the market also said that the government had failed to clear payments within 48 hours to farmers as no money had not been transferred after October 27-28.

When contacted, district food and supply controller Baljinder Singh Dhillon directed HT to contact Markfed officials, claiming that agency was responsible for non-lifting and making payments on time.

Markfed manager in Balachaur sub-division, Surjeet Singh also blamed the refusal of Kathgarh rice miller behind the crisis. He added that around 300 paddy bags in Mohar grain market and 1,100 paddy bags were lying in the grain market due to non-availability of trucks.