With no rent for usage of Dana Mandi by Bargari Insaaf Morcha in Bargari village at Faridkot district, Punjab Mandi Board officials have asked farmers to unload paddy at other procurement centres nearby and even have taken a temporary power connection at village’s stadium to carry on procurement works.
Panthic organisations have been on dharna at Dana Mandi since June 1 and the stir has attracted public attention. Morcha organisers have also constructed pucca toilets at the site for the public and a submersible pump has been dug within the dana mandi for daily water needs of the sangat at the site. There is also a power generator.
On Wednesday, ahrtiyas and farmers of Bargari village had met Dhyan Singh Mand, parallel jathedar of Akal Takht as declared by Sarbat Khalsa and had discussed the problem of unloading of paddy this procurement season. However, no solution could be found.
Kulbir Singh Matta, district mandi officer(DMO), Faridkot, said, “We are not getting any rent from the persons sitting there. We charge rent from the persons who use our urban mandis, so far for rural mandis, no policy has been made as whether to charge any rent or not. However we have made alternative arrangements for farmers at sports stadium and even at Kotkapura mandi.” Rajbir Singh, junior engineer, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited said, “So far, they have not taken any power connection from us, they are consuming power on generator set only.”
Meanwhile, nearly one lakh quintal paddy is expected to arrive from Bargari alone, said the DMO. He added that a temporary power connection had also been taken at the stadium but as already mentioned, farmers are not interested in unloading paddy at the stadium and thus will go to farther mandis.
Sources said the Punjab Mandi Board had told the district officials to make arrangements for farmers at some other site when clarification for Bargari Dana Mandi was sought from them. Even Guru Granth Sahib were also installed at the site two days ago.
Baljit Singh Daduwal, parallel Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, said, “We have added facilities of toilets, water etc for general public as they are coming in thousands every day. Our morcha is for seeking justice for sacrilege cases and hence it is for public cause. We had offered some space from Mandi for grain procurement, but farmers themselves had refused, I am not aware of any recent meeting.”