Though the purchase of wheat has been going on at a satisfactory pace at the grain market in Faridkot, the lifting is apparently not up to mark. With wheat bags occupying most of the space, there is hardly any room for fresh produce brought to the market.
"A little wheat has been lifted so far and we are facing acute shortage of space to unload fresh stock. The contract system for lifting has turned out to be a failure. Contractors have failed to provide labour and transport facilities to lift the produce," said a commission agent on condition of anonymity.
The contract system is faulty, he claimed. "Contractors say that if the produce is not lifted shortly, kuccha arhatiyas will have to do it by spending money from their own pockets. Some arhatiyas are also getting the lifting done on their own," he claimed.
Shiv Kumar Sachdeva, president of arhatiyas association, Faridkot, says the problem has arisen due to the fact that harvesting is done mechanically, but at the grain market work is done manually.
"This system can be made effective if the lifting is done date-wise as the produce has already been purchased."
The arhtiya association president said, "Owing to slow lifting, we face the problem of space and inclement weather compounds our worries. We also face shortage of bags."
Claiming that the lifting work at the Faridkot grain market was on course, Kulbhushan Rai, chairman of the market committee, said, "Every day we get 40,000-50,000 bags lifted as compared to about 10 lakh bags that reach the market. We have also got the payment of all procurement agencies by April 21 as per government instructions."
Deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat and divisional commissioner have inspected the procurement process at the grain market. "Commission agents brought to our notice the problem of 'bardana'. We are trying our best to sort out all procurement-related problems."
About the unlifted stock, the DC said more space has been made available at the grain market by opening two new sections. "I will look into the problem of slow lifting of wheat in the market."
Ensure systematic lifting: officials
Divisional commissioner Raminder Singh and Faridkot deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat on Wednesday listened to the grievances of commission agents and farmers at the office of market committee, Kotkapura.
Commission agents drew the attention of the officials to unsystematic lifting of the procured wheat from the market and also pointed to shortage of gunny bags.
The commissioner asked officials concerned to carry out the lifting work systematically and date-wise.
After commission agents brought to his notice the acute shortage of 'bardana', the commissioner promised to make it available soon.
He also instructed the officials to tabulate lifting to ensure that the produce is lifted date-wise. The commissioner instructed to form a committee comprising five members from arhtiyas and five from procurement agencies.
The divisional commissioner and deputy commissioner, who inspected the Kotakpura grain market, also visited 'mandi' at Panjgrain Kalan.
Faridkot DFSC Kulwant kaur and Kotakpura SDM Darshan Singh were also present during the inspection.