Deesa stinks, complaint filed against farmers, cold storage owners
Ahmedabad, 21 December 2011
Facing a glut of potatoes owing to two bumper crops in north India, the farmers in Gujarat, not being able to find buyers or good rates started dumping their crop on the roads of Deesa yesterday. With their produce getting just Re 1 per kg to Rs 2 per kg, farmers are not ready to procure potatoes lying in the cold storage.
Shri Vipulbhai Shah, President of Deesa Municipality said that massive cleaning task is going on presently on the roads of the town that are stinking due to potatoes dumped there in open by protesting farmers yesterday. The civic authority has ordered closure of all tea stalls, nashta parlous today and also has asked parents not to send their children to school today in view of the situation.
As many as 400 tractors and 800 farmers had gathered yesterday at Airport ground in Deesa in pre-announced rally. Though their tractors were full of potatoes and it was clear that they would dump their produce in the streets, the police was inactive, so as the local authority.
At around 11.25 am the farmers started unloading their trolleys on road near Dipak hotel. This movement became even stronger at around noon. The national highway that connects Deesa to Palanpur was blockaded by dumped potatoes, and traffic was jam for some time. Local Chief Officer Jagdishbhai rushed with JCB to clear the highway, however at the same time the other roads like Airport to bagicha, Saibaba mandir to high school cross roads, Diamond market to Risala chowk and Gandhi statue to Deputy Collector office were filled with potatoes by protesting farmers.
Some angry farmers threw potatoes in Deputy Collector office. One employee of this office was injured, glasses of one of the windows of Deputy Collector office were broken in this incident.
The rally was organized by Gujarat Batata Utpadak Khedut Sangathan Samiti. Traders including Shri Ganpatlal Kachhava, Vinaybhai Padhiyar, Chamanlal Gajjar, Odhaji Thakor and Pravinbhai Mali presented a memorandum to the Deputy Collector demanding minimum support prises for potatoe crop and relief of Rs 200 per katta. Odhaji Thakor said that their rally was peaceful, but some elements started unloading potatoes in streets.
Meanwhile a local advocate association met the district official and demanded strong actions against those farmers involved in dumping of potatoes on roads. Advocates Bharatbhai Mehta, Dharmendrabhai Fofani, Hinaben Thakkar among others demanded that if police don’t file complaint, they would go to court. They said farmers can not harass the people on the streets for solution of their problems.
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