Fazilka, June 11: Resentment is brewing among sugarcane growers of Fazilka district as they have not been paid their dues by the Fazilka Central Cooperative Sugar Mills Limited.
The sugar mill owes Rs 30.5 crore to the farmers. The cane crushing season ended on April 8 and since then the farmers have been waiting for their dues.
Hundreds of families of farmers have been facing financial hardships on account of non-payment of their dues. The area under cultivation has also come down due to indifferent attitude of the successive governments.
Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that the sugarcane was grown in around 6,500 acres in 110 villages this year as compared to 9,000 acres in 150 villages last year.
Gurwant Singh, a sugarcane cultivator, rued that delay in payments year after year would be a setback for the government’s effort to promote crop diversification as the farmers were gradually getting disillusioned from growing sugarcane.
Boota Singh Chimnewala, state press secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Kadian), has warned the government that they would launch an agitation for the step-motherly treatment being meted out to the Fazilka farmers. He claimed that the government owed maximum payment to Fazilka sugar mills whereas it had cleared a major chunk of the payments to other sugar mills of the state.
Surinder Singh, president, Sugarcane Growers Welfare Society, Fazilka, said the growers were considering moving the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get their dues.
Inderjit Singh Bhatia, general manager of the sugar mill, said the mill authorities had received a payment of Rs 1 crore a few days ago and it was distributed among the farmers. “As soon as we receive the remaining payment, it will be disbursed among the farmers”, he added.
Source Tribune India