Rejecting Rs 640 crore compensation announced by Punjab government for cotton growers whose crop was damaged by pest attack, farmers’ union on Saturday termed it as ‘meagre’ and said their protest will continue.
“The estimated loss of cotton growers is about Rs 4,200 crore. Such a meagre relief announced by the government is not acceptable to farmers,” said Joginder Singh Ugrahan and Sukhdev Singh Kokari, president and general secretary (respectively) of Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan) in Moga.
The farmer leaders said that they would continue their protest in all the districts of the state by staging sit-ins in front of district administrative complexes against the Punjab government.
Members of the farmers’ union would meet in Moga on Sunday to discuss next line of action of the protest, they said.
They also questioned ‘girdawari’ conducted by the revenue department to assess the crop loss.
“Revenue department assessed compensation without carrying out physical verification of the damage caused to cotton crop during the Girdawari process. The girdawari done is a mere eyewash, as farmers were not inquired about any loss to the crop,” they said.
Punjab government has released an amount of Rs 643.58 crore as compensation for farmers, who suffered substantial loss of cotton crop due to whitefly and other pests in nine districts of the state. Around 8,30,855 acres of cotton crop has been destroyed due to pest attacks in these districts.