Staff Correspondent

KOLAR: Kolar town witnessed a sea of red on Monday with thousands of farmers and farm labourers taking to the streets under the banner of district units of Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha and All India Agricultural Workers’ Union. Hailing from various parts of the district, the demonstrators, including women, demanded among other things extension of loan facilities to all agricultural activities and sanctioning of fresh loans at 3 per cent interest.

The procession, which started from Inspection Bungalow, passed through the main thoroughfares of the town and culminated at the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Holding red flags with hammer and sickle, the protestors raised slogans in support of their demands.

“Due to sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities, life has become miserable for us,”

Manjulamma, a farm labourer from Srinivaspur said. “Non-distribution of BPL cards has aggravated the situation,” she added.

‘Extend scheme’

The organisations have urged the Government to extend the land-holding limit in the district to 12.5 acres to avail the loan waiver benefit announced by the UPA Government.

“Since the district is a dry land region, the extension of the limit is necessary so that the loan waiver scheme will reach more farmers,” KPRS State general secretary G.C. Bayya Reddy said.

Both the associations, which have staged agitations in the past demanding distribution of BPL ration cards to eligible families, have warned authorities that they will intensify the struggle if their demands are not met.

They also urged granting of sites and construction of houses for homeless poor people.

The demonstrators also urged the Government to formulate a permanent irrigation project to mitigate the water woes of the agricultural sector of the region.