Bhupalpally farmers stage protest seeking action against rice millers
Ryots allege that miller owners are harassing them by tampering with the weights of paddy
BHUPALPALLY: Scores of distressed farmers took to the streets in Malharrao madal of Jayashankar Bhupalpally district on Sunday and staged a rasta roko demanding the State government to crack the whip on rice millers who have been allegedly duping them by tampering with the weights of paddy. The farmers who gathered on the Bhupalpally-Warangal highway blocked the road and set a few bags of their produce ablaze demanding the State government to make all necessary arrangements for procuring their crop without further delay.
During the stir, the distressed farmers alleged that it was due to the apathy of the officials, which has been causing an inordinate delay in the procurement processes at Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) centres, that they are being forced to sell the produce to private rice millers. While elaborating on their hardships to the media, the farmers said that the rice millers have been duping them for quite some time now by trying to tamper with paddy weights. For every quintal of the produce that we take to the rice millers for sale, the farmers said, they demand the removal of at least five to six kilograms in the guise of chaff, dust or impurity.
This is their bid to depreciate the weight of the crop and thereby pay us just a meagre amount, they added.
Even under these circumstances, we are forced to sell our paddy to private rice millers as the procurement processes at IKP and other government-authorised purchase centres are moving at a snail’s pace due to the negligence of the officials concerned, the ryots said.
Since the monsoon is set to hit the State any day now, the farmers are scared that if they leave the crops on their farmlands itself, waiting for the officials to purchase it, the produce might get soaked in the sudden downpour, shatter their dreams and also delay them from sowing Vanakalam (Kharif) seeds. Though Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced, on May 30, that crop procurement centres across Telangana would be open till June 8, instead of the earlier plan of May 31, scores of farmers are still awaiting their turn to sell the crop at the IKP centres. They distressed ryots demanded the district administration to rectify the issues and recommence the procurement processes soon. Meanwhile, soon after getting information about the protest, the local police rushed to area and held talks with the farmers.