Staff Correspondent

Dharna staged in front of deputy commissioner’s office

Chitradurga: Members of the Rashtriya Kisan Sangha staged dharna in protest against the alleged distribution of substandard seeds by the Agriculture Department, in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Monday.

In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas, State general secretary of the sangha Konche Shivarudrappa alleged that over 150 farmers of Chikkagondanahalli village were given cheap quality Marshal-675 sunflower seed due to which 80 per cent crop was destroyed and they suffered a loss of Rs. 10,000 per acre.

The farmers had also lost crop owing to sowing of low-quality maize seed supplied by the Hyderabad Hybrid Seeds Company. Despite good rains the seeds did not germinate due to which over 250 farmers have suffered losses.

Mr. Shivarudrappa demanded that the Government announce compensation of Rs. 2,500 per acre to farmers who had lost a substantial amount of crop due to substandard seeds.

He held the Joint Director of the Agriculture Department responsible for the supply of low-quality seed and demanded stringent action against him. He alleged that officials of blacklisted companies were hand in gloves with officials of the Agriculture Department in supplying substandard seeds.

Mr. Shivarudrappa also said that village accountants were taking bribe from people who wanted to get benefit from government schemes such as the old-age pension, widow pension and other schemes meant for poor people and farmers.

The agitators shouted slogans against the Agriculture Department. They urged that the Government should immediately announce relief package to farmers and initiate legal action against erring officials. Earlier, they staged dharna in front of the Agriculture Office near APMC before taking out a protest rally to the Deputy Commissioner’s office.