Accusing the state government of looting them in the name of new tubewell connections, hundreds of farmers on Monday staged a dharna near the office of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited chief engineer, Border Range.
As hundreds of activists of farmers’ unions marched towards the office, cops put up barricades on the airport road to stop them. Later, the huge posse of police personnel let the protesters stage the dharna on the road.
Addressing the gathering, Kisan Sangharsh Committee president Satnam Singh Pannu said: “The Badal government had promised to give free tubewell connections, for which a lot of money was collected from farmers. The money charged is much more than the market rate. Farmers will not tolerate this.”
Pannu said farmers had to take loan on high rates of interest to make these payments, but now the government was not fulfilling its promises. In the border zone alone, nearly 8,000 farmers are still awaiting connections, he said.
Raising slogans against the state government, the farmers demanded new tubewell connections, transformers and other facilties promised by the government. They also sought refund of the money paid by them.
The agitating farmers criticised the Badal government for adopting anti-farmer policies and said this was the reason many of them were committing suicide in Punjab. Demanding a probe into the reason behind money being charged for tubewell connections, KSC activists also asked the government to supply power to their houses for `1 per unit.