Two weeks after a ‘rail roko’ by sugarcane growers at Dasuya in Hoshiarpur, they are again planning to launch a massive protest on Tuesday in Phagwara.
Seven farmers’ unions are going to gather on Tuesday and decide on the kind of protest they will hold.
Farmers have planned to sit on an indefinite dharna and it could be a blockade of National Highway-1 or a railway track.
“We are going along with our tents, bedding and food to protest against the government, which is not clearing our last season’s dues and not increasing the SAP. We will take on the spot decision that what type of protest we will pursue tomorrow (Tuesday), but it will be massive and indefinite,” said Baldev Singh Sirsa, president of Lok Bhalla Insaaf Welfare Society, adding earlier, the government had assured them of meeting their demands, but nothing was done.
“It’s December and private mills, which crush 70 per cent of the total cane produce, have not been opened yet. There is 20 per cent more cane this year and crushing season will last up to June, while there is huge problem of labour after April,” said Sirsa.
The main demands of the seven farmers’ organisations, including Ganna Sangharsh committee, Dasuya; BKU, Doaba; Majha Sangharsh Committee and Lok Bhai Insaaf Welfare Society, Sidhupur, are to clear their pending dues worth Rs 396 crore with private and cooperative sugar mills of the last cane crushing season and rise in State Advised Price (SAP) from Rs 310 per quintal to Rs 350 per quintal. They are also demanding opening of the seven private mills, which are not running while the crushing season is on. Private millers are not ready to run the mills because they are demanding that the difference between Fair Remunerative Price and SAP, which is of Rs 35 per quintal cane, must be paid to the farmers by the government. But the government is not ready.