Defying the instructions of PAU, which said paddy sowing should start from June 20 onwards so as to save the depleting water table, farmers are adamant to start the sowing process early. Farmer unions have started dharnas across the state demanding 16 hours of power supply for the paddy season from June 10 instead of June 20.’
On Monday, dharnas were held under the leadership of Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) in 13 districts across the state. Dr Jasbir Singh Bains, director agriculture who was in Bathinda Monday afternoon said, ”We are in the field to see whether any paddy is being sown in advance or not. It is negligible at the moment. We aim to save the water table and hence farmers should cooperate with us. After all, we have to save the environment. If sowing is done after June 20, usage of water will be less as the monsoons will be about to start in Punjab.
However, farmers have their own apprehensions and a few are being influenced by union leaders.” Shingara Singh Mann, president of BKU (Ugrahan), Bathinda unit said,” Either we should be allowed moisture of 24% while selling paddy in mandis or we should be allowed to sow paddy early.”
Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, state general secretary said,”We will go on indefinite dharnas outside DC offices and even outside SDM offices in 13 districts which include Ludhiana, Moga, Sangrur, Faridkot, Muktsar, Bathinda, Mansa, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Barnala, Tarantaran, Gurdaspur, Amritsar. If we will sow as per PAU’s directions, our crop will ripe late and it will be full of moisture. We will get little time for wheat sowing. So we have our own problems, government needs to come up with solutions.”