TENKASI / TIRUNELVELI: Alleging that the Direct Purchase Centre (DPC) set in Puliyarai refused to purchase their paddy, about 100 farmers from Puliyarai, Pudur and Therkumedu staged a protest in front of the regional office of the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation here on Monday.
S Chelladurai, Regional secretary of All Farmers Organisation Coordination Committee told the media persons that about 40,000 sacks of paddy are awaiting to be procured. "The DPC in Puliyarai was set on February 4 with the promise that the staff of the centre would procure at least 1,000 sacks of paddy each day. However, in the past 16 days, only 4,000 sacks have been procured. The staff and the officials of the corporation are apathetic over procuring the paddy as the farmers refused to pay `40 bribe for each sack of paddy," claimed Chelladurai.
The farmers said that they began harvesting on January 26. "Now we are passing the sleepless nights to ensure that our paddy is not becoming wet due to rain and being eaten by the rats. A one-hour rain is enough to destroy all our paddy which needed our 110-day work. Our repeated requests to the corporation authorities ended in vain," they said.
The officials said that the paddy of the farmers would be procured regularly from Tuesday and that the staff would be instructed not to collect bribes from the farmers.