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Dalit maha panchayat formed

punjab Updated: Oct 02, 2013 20:48 IST
HT Correspondent

Even as paddy procurement has started, the local grain market is ill prepared with trucks and stray animals occupying most of the space.

Before the season started, Punjab Mandi Board had claimed that all facilities would be given at the market.

However, now the market lacks adequate provision of drinking water, toilets and other basic amenities.

A portion of the grain market has been encroached upon for carrying out repairs of tractor equipment, while the second is being used for slum dwellers rehabilitation.

Punjab Arhtiya Association secretary Parveen Bansal Barnala said, "The mandi board has not done anything for the grain market, even after repeated requests from the Barnala market committee. Even the water coolers are not working."

"Arhtiyas are getting surroundings cleaned at their own cost. Mandi Board has not even sprayed pesticides. We are used to it, since this happens every year," said Krishan Kumar, an arhtiya.

Nangal village farmer Naib Singh said, "If we bring our paddy here, it will not be safe from stray animals."

District mandi officer Ram Singh, however, claimed that perfect arrangements had been made. He refused to mention the amount spent on maintenance of the grain market this paddy season, even after instructions from deputy commissioner Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu.

SDM Amandeep Bansal said, "Paddy purchase generally begins around October 10. We shall make necessary arrangements by then."

Barnala district has 96 purchase centres under five market committees. More than 100 officers have been deputed for smooth purchase of paddy in 27 mandies. Officers have been instructed not to leave station without prior sanction of Inspecting officer.

Last year, 713862 metric tones of paddy was purchased, whereas target for this year is 799542 tonne of paddy. The target is on higher side despite government's efforts to reduce area under paddy cultivation. The paddy purchase will continue even on Sundays. Share of agencies in purchase has been fixed as Pungrain 25.40%, Markfed 23.40%, Punsup 22%, PSWC 10.70%, Punjab Agro 8.10%, FCI 10.40%.