Agitated over non-lifting of wheat from the local grain market, hundreds of farmers, along with commission agents, held a dharna against the market committee officials and procurement agencies here on Tuesday.
Raising slogans against the officials, the farmers alleged that after procurement of about one lakh quintal wheat during the initial days, not even a single bag of wheat was purchased from this grain market by any of the agency for the past 12 days.
They claimed that at present, more than 4.5 lakh bags of wheat were lying in the grain market and some of the wheat produce was still lying with the farmers due to the non-availability of space in the grain market.
Talking to HT, farmers Parminder Singh Ghiania, Mahinder Singh and Ranjeet Singh said that they, along with other farmers and commission agents, approached the officials of the market committee and procurement agencies to complain about the non-lifting of their crop but the officials turned a blind eye to their repeated requests to initiate some action in this regard.
"Failing to get any satisfactory reply from the administration, the affected farmers are sitting on a for the past three days but neither the officials nor private contractors, who were supposed to lift the crop from market, responded," said Parminder Singh.
He threatened that they will continue their dharna until, the administration made any appropriate step to lifting this huge stock of wheat lying in the market.
It is to be noted that as per the rules, the procurement agency have to lift the crop from the grain market within 72 hours after the purchase and had to make the payment to the farmer within 24 hours but at Dharamkot Randhawa grain market not even the crop was lifted neither the farmers were paid.
When contacted Secretary, Market Committee, Dera Baba Nanak, Kashmir Singh, he told that they had lifted 45000 bags of wheat from the Dharamkot grain market and told that due to unpleasant weather from the last some days, they were moisture content was high which was affecting the further purchase. When questioned about the non-lifting of purchase wheat by the procurement agencies, he told that the department had served notice all those agencies, which had not lifted the purchase wheat within 72 hours.