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Cattle feed push piqued farmers

THE FARMERS, who turned violent in Sabalgarh sub-division of Morena on Monday and were tear-gassed, lost cool because the fertiliser vendors allegedly asked them to buy animal food packets along with urea bags, it has been learnt.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 02:37 IST

THE FARMERS, who turned violent in Sabalgarh sub-division of Morena on Monday and were tear-gassed, lost cool because the fertiliser vendors allegedly asked them to buy animal food packets along with urea bags, it has been learnt.

The farmers were already tense due to the combined effect of erratic power supply, water scarcity and shortage of urea. The precondition put forth by vendors added fuel to fire.

The distribution of fertilisers began on Tuesday amidst tight security. The farmers on Monday gathered at Sabalgarh following the news of arrival of fertiliser there.

They went on the rampage and damaged public property including Nagar Panchayat office, marketing society office, PWD rest house, private shops and a police post, when the vendors allegedly put forth the pre-condition. The police lobbed teargas shells to disperse the agitated farmers.

According to the police, situation there is now normal and enforcement has been sent there to avert any future untoward incident.

Four cases were registered against farmers after they allegedly set up roadblocks and burnt police outposts. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Chambal) D C Sagar said more than half-a-dozen policemen were injured when the mob pelted stones and no arrests have been made so far.

Mismanagement on part of the State Government and black-marketing by fertiliser vendors, besides the hoarding tendency of farmers, precipitated the crisis. This year, sowing was about 60 per cent of the target.

Consequently, requirement of fertilisers was also lesser. The Government failed to meet even this reduced demand and could not ensure adequate supply of urea in market. Once the news about urea shortage spread, the farmers started buying urea for future needs also. This further worsened the situation.

During the last fortnight, farmers had agitated at many places over the issue of non-availability of urea. Only two days ago, farmers had demonstrated in Dabra sub-division when urea distribution centres turned them out empty-handed.

In Datia, farmers staged a road blockade in front of fertiliser store on the same issue. When this did not solve the problem, they tried to loot urea bags from a passing truck laden with urea.

According to the Agriculture Department estimates, urea requirement for Rabi crop in Gwalior district is 22,000 metric tonne, for Morena 20,500 metric tonne, for Bhind 21,000 metric tonne, for Datia 15,000 metric tonne and for Shivpuri 13,000 metric tonne.

However, actually about 60 per cent urea of this target is required because of lesser sowing of fields on account of inadequacy of water.

According to the revised estimates, Gwalior district requires 17,000 metric tonne in place of 22,000 metric tonne. Around 11,300 metric tonne urea has been distributed here till now while 5,000 metric tonne is still required. The Agriculture Department deputy director A S Yadav said that there was no crisis of fertiliser here.

The district would soon receive more urea that would be distributed among farmers. Seeing the sensitivity of the issue, Collector Rakesh Shrivastava called a meeting and directed the officials concerned to maintain regular supply of urea and prevent black-marketing.

First Published: Dec 20, 2006 02:37 IST