Farm­ers ac­cuse Pic­cadily su­gar mill of not clear­ing pend­ing pay­ments

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Punjab & Haryana - Neeraj Mo­han n neeraj.mo­[email protected]­tan­times.com

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

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