Potato-filled roads after miffed farmers dump produce
Potato growers in the state, managed to repeat the feat they pulled off in 2001 by dumping their produce on roads in Jalandhar on Thursday even as Punjab Deputy Chief Minister was in the city at the same time. The farmers dumped about 5,000 to 6,000 quintals of potato on the road leading up to Jalandhar after police stepped in and prevented a large number of potato-filled trolleys from entering the city. Farmers, however, have threatened to intensify their agitation if the state government does not come to their aid.
The potato growers are up in arms against the Rs 2 crore freight subsidy announced by the state government. Terming it as 'meagre', the farmers are demanding a subsidy of around Rs 140 crore.
We should either be given a minimum of Rs 2 per kilogram of freight subsidy from the state government or state agencies like the NAFED can procure the crop at the rate of Rs 5 per kilogram to help out farmers, said Jalandhar Potato Growers Association (JPGA), general secretary J S Sangha. The potato growers body general secretary further said that 40 lakh bags of the previous crop was lying in cold stores even as the new crop has started arriving. He added that some officials had promised the protesters, while they were dumping their produce, that the government would listen to their problems if they called off their agitation.
According to Sangha, farmers had brought about 450 trolleys filled with potato bags to Jalandhar but with police stopping a large number of them at the city's Wadala chowk, the protesters began throwing their crop near the chowk and at various places on Nakodar road. The potato growers, later in the day, submitted a memorandum to the Jalandhar deputy commissioner.
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