Farmers on Tuesday held protests in Chandigarh and Punjab border in Mohali over the paddy sowing schedule. The protestors are marching towards the CM's house. They have put forward 13 demands, including the supply of uninterrupted electricity for the paddy crop.
Reportedly, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had called them from meeting on Tuesday but no such meeting took place as farmers cancelled it.
"We demand full electricity supply. Several promises were made but none have been fulfilled. We will go towards CM and will not stop due to police," a farmer told Republic TV.
The protest is taking place against the Aam Aadmi Party's proposed formula for paddy sowing, besides other demands. Earlier, several farmers' bodies had rejected the electricity supply schedule for the padding sowing seats and had asserted that they would begin transplanting paddy plants from June 10.
The state government had decided to permit paddy sowing in a staggered manner, starting from June 18, with an aim to reduce the load on electricity and conserve underground water.
From June 18, paddy transplantation is set to begin in Sangrur, Malerkotla, Barnala, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ludhiana districts, while from June 22, sowing will commence in Mansa, Moga, Bathinda, Faridkot, Fazilka and Ferozepur.
Paddy sowing will commence in Mohali, SBS Nagar, Kapurthala, and Muktsar on June 24. From June 26, sowing will begin in Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts. The electricity supply to farmers for irrigation will start from the dates fixed for the paddy sowing.
"If farmers have any grudge in this regard then we are ready to constitute a committee for an amicable solution. If farmers follow the guidelines of agriculture experts then yield will not be affected with direct sowing," Punjab power minister Harbhajan Singh had said after meeting farmer leaders.