Chittoor District Cooperative Sugars yet to release pending payment for the previous year

Sugarcane crushing for the year 2013-14 commenced at the Chittoor District Cooperative Sugars here on Friday, amid protest by sugarcane growers from the surrounding mandals, demanding release of the pending payment for the previous year.

The factory management and staff along with farmers from the mandals of Chittoor and Puthalapattu Assembly constituencies conducted pujas on the factory premises. Formally, a tonne of sugarcane was crushed at the carrier unit centre on Friday.

The officials predict crushing of about 1.5 lakh metric tonnes of sugarcane for the current year, with about 15,000 sugarcane growers as shareholders.

The farmers deplored that payment to the tune of Rs.7 crore for the year 2012-13 has not been cleared, and the MSP for the current year was not yet fixed, though the crushing commenced.

Earlier, the farmers thronged the chambers of the factory managing director, D. Venkateswara Rao, and staged a protest, demanding immediate steps to clear payment for the previous year. They sought Mr. Rao to take the plight of the sugarcane growers to the notice of the Collector. After heated arguments for a while, the matter was amicably settled with due assurance from the officials to the farmers that their demands would be looked into.

The farmers of these two constituencies have to depend on this cooperative sugars due to non-availability of private units. They deplored that even if they want to reach out to private factories at Punganur and Nagari, it involved huge costs towards transportation.