After repeated protests by farmers, the district administration started the sale of urea amid heavy police security. Long queues of farmers outside kisan sewa kendras in the city from early morning onwards are a common sight, despite the biting cold. Farmers in large numbers reach the town on tractor-trolleys to purchase urea.
"I reached the town at around 7am to avoid long queues of farmers, but farmers were already standing in the queue before I reached," said an old farmer Bhind Singh of Bindran village, adding, "It is for the first time in my 60 years of life that I have seen such an acute shortage of urea, we don't understand why the government is not taking our demand seriously."
Another farmer Balwinder Singh of Saron village said, "I need 100 bags of urea immediately for my 45 acres of wheat, but they are giving only 10 bags to each farmer, we have to spend 9 more days in the long queues to get the fertiliser." The farmers also accused the officials of the Markfed for not taking required steps earlier to supply of urea.
"Officials did not take any step earlier, now also they start sale of urea at 2pm forcing the farmers to wait for several hours in cold. I think leaders are hand-in-glove with urea dealers and they have deliberately created the shortage to the benefit of dealers so that they can sell it in the black market," he added.
However, Markfed's district manager Jasvinder Singh, who was sitting inside the kisan sewa kendra, where farmers in large numbers could be seen waiting outside, refuted any shortage of urea.
"There is no shortage of urea in the district, but some of the farmers are hoarding it fearing its shortage in the near future," he added.
"We have enough stock, we will distribute about one lakh bags of urea in the district, another stock of one lakh bags will reach soon day," he added.
According to Markfed officials, Sangrur district requires about 18 lakh bags of urea for wheat and about 14 lakh bags have already been sold to the farmers.