Paddy farmers defiant, won’t wait until June 20

Sangrur, June 11: Despite warnings and awareness camps by the state Agriculture Department to convince farmers to start paddy transplantation from June 20, many farmers are already on the job, while others started on Sunday.

“We started sowing paddy around four days ago and finished it over 12 acres. The government is making unrealistic announcements to start paddy transplantation from June 20, which is not possible,” said Darshan Singh, a farmer from Kotra village of Sangrur.

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Though the government has directed all district authorities to initiate legal action under the Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act, 2009, against farmers who defy the orders, a majority of them are unfazed.

Speaking to The Tribune, farmers confirmed that their fields are ready and they would start transplantation right after hiring migrant labour.

“If the farmers start transplantation from June 20, they would face serious problems while selling their late sown crop. The government has been multiplying the problems of farmers, right from sowing to selling. Farmer suicides are on the rise mainly because of this. We will oppose any move to stop farmers from sowing paddy,” said Joginder Singh Ugraha, president of BKU Ugraha.

All 10 blocks of Sangrur district are in the “dark zone” and groundwater has depleted to alarming levels across the district.

Repeated efforts of the authorities concerned have failed to convince farmers to shift from water guzzling crops. Some senior officers said the water level would decline further due to early paddy sowing.

“We will recommend registration of cases against all farmers who start paddy transplantation before June 20,” said Jaswinderpal Singh Grewal, Chief Agriculture Officer, Sangrur.

Source Tribune India