Staff Reporter

Irregularities in paddy procurement in Ganjam

BERHAMPUR: The Ganjam District Krushak Sabha has threatened to start indefinite hunger strike in front of the office of the Collector at Chatrapur from Friday in protest against inadequate measures for paddy procurement from the peasants.

The leaders of the Krushak Sabha decided about it at a meeting held in the city on Monday. The president of the Ganjam Krushak Sabha, Kailash Sadangi said through their agitation they would highlight two major follies in paddy procurement in the district which happens to be the home district of the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik. The measures taken for paddy procurement in the district till now have only been an eyewash, he alleged. “From the state in Chief Minister’s home district one can easily assess what may be the reality behind paddy procurement in other parts of the State,” he said.

The activists of the peasants organisation alleged that most of the panchayat level paddy procurement ‘mandis’ had not opened up or they had got opened only in official records. The secretary of the organisation Harikrushna Reddy cited the example of a paddy procurement unit that has got opened up at Shergarh as per official records. But it was alleged that this unit had not been active till Monday. It happens to be part of the Hinjli Assembly segment represented by the Chief Minister. Similarly in the Digaphandi Assembly constituency of the State Revenue Minister, Surya Narayan Patro, a paddy procurement ‘mandi’ inaugurated at Punjikuian square on Dec. 15. It also remains non-functional.

On Monday the Berhampur sub-collector inaugurated a paddy procurement ‘mandi’ at Digapahandi. But it was found that this unit did not have any weighing machine, peasants list or money to start the paddy procurement process. The farmers’ leaders also expressed concern over the politicisation of the ‘peasants’ committees’ formed in panchayats for the paddy procurement.