Cane farmers demand resumption of Sanjivani sugar factory, other issues

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Ponda: Upset with no clear stand from the government over the Sanjivani Sugar Factory, sugarcane farmers have threatened to stage a dharna from September 29 outside the factory premises, if the government fails to give them a written assurance before September 25 over resumption of the sugar factory, clearing the pending dues of sugarcane harvesting i.e Rs 600 per tonne and compensation for the crop that got wasted in the last season. Sugarcane farmers have taken a decision on Tuesday after the association meeting at Dharbandora.

According to farmers, despite several agitations and demands, the government has not cleared pending dues of the harvesting done in the last season. The Chief Minister had assured farmers to clear their dues before August 15 in the last meeting, but farmers are yet to receive their pending dues which are over Rs 1 crore. Secondly the Chief Minister had also assured farmers to pay compensation for the standing crop, which was not harvested due to the lockdown. Around 2200 tonnes of sugarcane has got wasted and the government has assured to pay compensation to the farmers. But the farmers are yet to receive any relief from the government.

Thirdly the state government has not yet cleared its stand over the resumption or renovation of the sugar factory at Dharbandora. The government should stop fooling the farmers and should clear its stand over resumption of factory’s operation. They should at least start it as soon as possible or should tell us that they are closing it down forever, said farmers.

“We want written assurance from the government by September 25, 2020 over our demands and if the government fails to give a written assurance to fulfill our demands we will stage a dharna from September 29 and will continue our agitation till our demands are fulfilled”, association president Rajendra Dessai said while speaking to this daily.

It should be noted that on July 29, the sugarcane farmers staged a hunger strike outside the Sanjivani sugar factory demanding their pending payment. Following which the state government released Rs 5.23 crore pending dues in the form of support price for sugarcane farmers in the state, under Shetkari Aadhar Nidhi. Further, the Government had assured farmers to pay the remaining pending dues by August 15, 2020.