Multi-crop dryer in Jalandhar fails to serve farmers’ cause
The newly constructed multi-crop dryer plant, built at the cost of Rs 8 crore in the Bhogpur grain market, is proving to be a white elephant as even after its inauguration, the plant has failed to serve any purpose and lying closed.punjab Updated: Nov 04, 2015 15:54 IST
The newly constructed multi-crop dryer plant, built at the cost of Rs 8 crore in the Bhogpur grain market, is proving to be a white elephant as even after its inauguration, the plant has failed to serve any purpose and lying closed.
In the absence of facility, the farmers in the region blamed the state government for wasting money on the plant as, despite this, they are forced to sell their crops on reduced rates due to high moisture content.
As per information, the Centre had sanctioned the plant for the Jalandhar district in May 2014 and had approved Rs 8 crore for the project. The other two plants were in Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur.
The Mandi Board had selected this site at the grain market and its construction was completed within 11 months.
It was the state’s third dryer plant that has four big size containers with the capacity of six tonnes.
The Mandi Board sources said that we are waiting to get a full-time operator to run the plant and for which tenders have been floated by a board recently.
Sources said that in the last maize season, the earlier contractual company had decided not bto run the plant for unknown reasons.
Farmer Amarjeet Singh from Chahrke village, who is also the member of state maize development board, said, “I had requested chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in a meeting held in June to hand over the plant to the society run by farmers but no avail.”
Singh said that the plant is no use to farmers as it is being shut down by the Mandi board and we are forced to sell the produce on reduced rates.
“Since June, the government wants to give it on lease to start it formally but even after five months have passed, the plant has not been opened for them,” said Singh.
Farmer Brig (retired) KS Dhillon of Sanora village said, “I had gone to officials to get my paddy crop dry due to moisture content, but they showed their helplessness in opening the plant.”
Dhillon added that as they denied doing so, my crop fetched little rate in the market.
“The money has been wasted by government on building the plant as it is not offering any service to farmers,” said Dhillon, adding that the government should give its responsibility to farmers’ society as two other dryers plants in Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr are also being running successfully by societies.
Ranjit Kumar, secretary Bhogpur grain market, said that we had started the plant on a ‘trial basis’ to facilitate farmers, especially maize growers, few months ago.
He said that farmers will have to pay Rs 60 per quintal as the fee for drying their crop, and even offered free service to paddy farmers a few days ago, but none of the farmers turned up.