Slow lifting mars ongoing wheat procurement in Punjab
Slow lifting of wheat has led to piling up of wheat sacks at several mandis in Punjab during the current Rabi marketing season, farmers claim.
However, the food and civil supplies department ascribed the problem of tardy lifting of crop to quick arrivals in mandis and slow movement of foodgrain-stock out of the state to consuming states even as it claimed to have lifted 70 per cent of wheat arrivals within 72 hours.
Opposition parties, including BJP, blamed the Congress government for its alleged failure in ensuring proper lifting of crop that added to the woes of farmers and commission agents.
Farmers claimed that delay in making transport arrangements for lifting of the crop from mandis to the warehouses caused choking of grain markets, which are filled with wheat sacks.
"In most of grain markets in Punjab, one can witness piling up of wheat sacks everywhere because of non-lifting of crop," said Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) President Balbir Singh Rajewal said here.
"The tenders for transportation of wheat crop were given to those who do not know about this job. There is no labour for unloading of crop in mandis. Moreover, there was delay in the allotment of contracts for transportation, which was also one of the reasons for slow lifting," he claimed.
"The lifting system has really collapsed," Rajewal alleged while adding that farmers and commission agents had to face the brunt of the slow lifting of crop.
According to farmers, the problem of tardy lifting was witnessed in Khanna, biggest grain market in Barnala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Hoshiarpur, Faridkot, Ropar, Mohali and Fazilka.
Blaming the Amarinder Singh led government for poor crop lifting, BJP National Secretary Tarun Chugh said, "the state government has completely failed in ensuring smooth wheat lifting. It has exposed its claims of making foolproof wheat procurement arrangements".
As much as 108 lakh metric tonne of wheat has so far been procured in Punjab in the ongoing Rabi marketing season even as arrivals have shrunk to five to six lakh tonne per day. Punjab has made arrangements for purchase of 130 lakh MT.
"We have ensured lifting of 70 per cent of arrivals within 72 hours," said a senior official of Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Department.
"Because of sporadic rains, the amount of crop arrivals which was supposed to come in eight to 10 days, came in just three-four days. There is a saturation level in lifting capacity of crop by procurement agencies and they have been doing at their saturation level.
Moreover, there were space constraints because of the slow movement of foodgrain stock out of the state," the official said while pointing out the reasons behind lifting problems.
However, during next month, 400 trains will be run to transport foodgrain out of the state, the official added.
Amid reports of money being charged for lifting of crop in some grain markets, sleuths of Punjab Vigilance bureau yesterday inspected the ongoing wheat purchase to ensure that farmers and commission agents do not face any difficulty or harassment.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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