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Khattar asks farmers to return home, assures support to migrant workers, urges them to stay put

In his approximately 30-minute address to the state via ‘Haryana ki Baat’, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced several measures that the state government is taking to curtail the transmission of Covid-19, which is spreading at an unprecedented pace across the state.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
April 17, 2021 5:44:09 am
CM Khattar says Haryana well-equipped to fight Covid-19, again appeals to farmers to call off protestHaryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said there are no plans to impose lockdown in the state as it has adequate health infrastructure to tackle the ongoing Covid upsurge. At the same time, he announced that certain new curbs have been introduced so that economic activities can carry on but the safety of people is also not compromised.

He also reiterated his appeal to the farmers protesting at Delhi’s borders to return home and come back to the protest sites once the situation normalises.

In his approximately 30-minute address to the state via ‘Haryana ki Baat’, Khattar announced several measures that the state government is taking to curtail the transmission of Covid-19, which is spreading at an unprecedented pace across the state.

Protesting farmers

“Farmers are protesting at several places. It is their democratic right. But when people are gathering, it always results in fear of coronavirus. At several places in schools, colleges – teachers, students have tested positive. Even today, 17-18 persons at a bus station tested positive. There is always a possibility that people will get Covid-19, if they stay together day and night. There can always be a disagreement, for which the farmers are protesting. But there is no disagreement on the issue of coronavirus. Jaan hai to jahaan hai. I appeal to farmers, this is not the time to lodge protests. Your protest is getting registered. When there is no Covid, nobody has any objection for you to come back again in the same manner, same place and do your protest. We should not become a cause of problem for others. Everybody should return to their homes, get themselves tested for Covid-19 and if they test positive, get themselves treated,” the CM said.

Crop procurement

Khattar also spoke about the ongoing crop procurement. “Procurement took place (last year too) amid Covid. We are again taking due precautions in all the anaj mandis. Till date, we have procured 50 lakh MT crop. Lifting is also being done at a satisfactory level. Deputy commissioners have been issued instructions. Due to rains, there is a possibility that the crop may get damaged. The loss can be of farmer, government, FCI or anybody. To avoid any crop loss, I have asked all deputy commissioners and transporters to expedite lifting of crop. I would like to appeal farmers to slow down pace of reaching mandis for a couple of days, so that the rains get over, especially in those mandis where there is already a glut of crops. As far as farmers’ payment is concerned, till date Rs 650 crore has been paid to the farmers. Farmers will continue to get their payment within 72 hours. We need everybody’s cooperation – farmers and arhtiyas,” said Khattar.

Migrant labourers

Khattar urged migrant labourers not to panic and assured that the state government would support them fully, be it ration supplies, medicine or their food requirements etc.: “We need not spread panic. I request all our labourers, workers brothers that they should stay here and continue the work they are doing. They will have to follow same Covid safety protocols whether they stay here or go back to their native places. They should maintain distance, do segregated shifts. Haryana government stands committed for their welfare. Nobody shall face any difficulty, be it medicines, ration, food anything. Our district level task forces are functional and are constantly monitoring the situation. We are also holding a Cabinet meeting on April 22 and shall take the decisions that are required to be taken. We all are collectively going to defeat the coronavirus.”

Mandis, procurement centres to stay closed on April 17-18

A state government spokesperson said, “Farmers are requested not to bring their produce to the mandis on both these days as wheat will not be procured in the state on April 17 and 18 and only work of lifting wheat procured in the past will be done in the mandis. Monday (April 19) onwards, wheat procurement will continue smoothly in the state as before.”

The spokesperson added, “A total of 49.86 lakh tonnes of wheat has arrived in the mandis and procurement centres of Haryana from April 1 to April 16, out of which 41.35 lakh tonnes of wheat has been procured by government agencies at the Minimum Support Price (MSP). On April 16, procurement of 1.99 lakh tonnes of wheat was made by government agencies at MSP. So far 4,33,262 J-forms of 1,60,270 farmers have been created and till today Rs 873.27 crore has been paid directly to the farmers’ accounts. Directions have been given to all concerned that lifting of wheat purchased in mandis should be ensured on a daily basis so that wheat does not get stored in mandis and farmers have no difficulty in selling their produce. Apart from this, the state government has appointed senior officers for the inspection of mandis, so that there are no obstacles in the procurement work.”

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