Farmers accuse Piccadily sugar mill of not clearing pending payments
Hundreds of sugarcane growers associated with the Piccadily sugarmill at Indri in Karnal district are left in the lurch as the mill has not cleared their dues for the past four months.
Moreover, the crushing operations have already been stopped but there is no clarity when the pending payments of the farmers will be cleared.
The affected farmers allege that the government is not taking their problem seriously and avoiding action against the private mill.
According to the farmers, around Rs 113 crore of about 4,000 farmers are pending with the mill as it did not clear the dues of the sugarcane purchased after January 21.
“Our complaints are falling on deaf ears and there is nobody to address our grievances. We are finding it difficult to meet our expenses,”, said Ajay Kamboj, a farmer of Khera village, whose payment of over Rs 25 lakh is stuck with the Piccadily sugarmill. Farmers led by Rampal Chahal, president of Ganna Sangarsh Committee, on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Karnal deputy commissioner (DC) Vinay Pratap Singh seeking his intervention to get the their dues cleared at the earliest. “The farmers have been waiting for their dues since January. We have taken up the matter with the mill management and the government, but to no avail,” said Chahal.
However, the management of the sugarmill said that they are facing crisis this year due to fall in the sugar prices and increase in sugarcane advisory prices.
“The reason behind the delay in payments is the fall in the prices of sugar, but we are making efforts to clear the pending payments of the farmers. Rs 24 crore will be released within next two days,” said Karam Singh, cane advisor to the Piccadily sugar mill.
According to the farmers, this was a tough year for the sugarcane growers of about 250 villages who sell their produce to the mill as the mill and its distillery was sealed by the Haryana Pollution Control Board on the directions of the National Green Tribunal for non-compliance of environmental norms.
After weeklong protests by farmers, the mill was allowed to complete the crushing operations after it made the required amendments.
FARMERS ALSO ALLEGE THAT THE GOVT IS NOT TAKING THEIR PROBLEM SERIOUSLY AND AVOIDING ACTION AGAINST PRIVATE MILL