Farmers for restarting Sanjivani, threaten new agitation on Feb 6

Ponda: Sanjivani Sugar Factory farmers once again threatened to stage an agitation on February 6 for their demand to restart next crushing season at sugar factory and want government to give a written assurance on it and their pending demands.

The farmers are also opposing to send their sugarcane to Karnataka owing to various difficulties faced by them. The meeting to discuss the farmers’ issue was held on Monday at the Sanjivani Sugar Factory premises led by sugarcane farmers President Rajendra Desai.

Speaking to media later, Desai said that the Chief Minister had assured to fulfil their demands but the farmers are still struggling to obtain the actual price for their product.

“A total of around 16,400 tonnes of sugarcane worth around Rs 4 crore has been sent to Karnataka based factory but so far the farmers, including transporters, are only paid Rs 76 lakh towards their dues up to December 15. This came about only when farmers staged an agitation on January 8 when Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant had assured the sugarcane growers to clear the bills on time. However, thereafter no bills have been cleared and the farmers are yet to get around Rs 3.50 crore,” said Desai.

Besides, the contractors transporting sugarcane to Karnataka are not getting their bills cleared on time. Desai further alleged that the petrol pump owned by the Sanjivani Sugar Factory has no money to buy diesel for transportation.

Besides this, last week, some farmers experienced that the sugarcane harvested was not transported due to non payment of bill money to the transporters and the cane was dried up in the fields for four days losing its weight causing loss to some farmers.

Since the government has not cleared bills of the farmers and contractors as assured, the farmers are now worried what will happen to their pending sugarcane of around 12,000 metric sugarcane yet to be harvested.

The workers hired for cutting the sugarcane are returning to their native place for lack of payment, it was reported. Thus the farmers are worried that if such situation continues no farmer would be in position to cultivate sugarcane for next season as it requires lot of money for which farmers borrow loans.

Hence, the farmers are now demanding that the next crushing season be operated in Sanjivani Sugar Factory only. [H]