Farmers protest two-day wait at wheat procurement centre

The protesters staged a protest sit-in in front of the procurement centre


Our Correspondent May 15, 2015
The protesters staged a protest sit-in in front of the procurement centre. PHOTO AFP

FAISALABAD:


Scores of farmers on Friday staged a protest demonstration against mismanagement in the wheat procurement drive at the Sumundri purchase centre.


The protesters staged a protest sit-in in front of the procurement centre and chanted slogans against the Food Department.

Talking to newsmen, Akhtar Ali, one of the protesters, said, “We brought our wheat to the centre two days ago but it has still not been unloaded.”

“We were advised to wait for our turn but we have been waiting for two days now. More farmers are showing up. Loaded vehicles have lined up around College Chowk, Gojra Road, Shaukatabad Road but there is no one to unload them,” he said.

He said when farmers asked the staff at the centre to unload the wheat, they sent some agents to do it. These agents demanded payment for the task. He said some farmers agreed had to pay them. “Their wheat was unloaded within two hours. Those who refused are still waiting in queues,” he said.

The protesters chanted slogans against the Food Department and management of the wheat procurement centre.

They urged the chief minister to take notice of the situation.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Food Controller Waqar Yousuf said none of the procurement staff had accepted money in exchange for unloading wheat.

“We have set a number of workers for the task,” he said. “When farmers come in large groups, they have to wait because of it.”

He said 36 per cent of the procurement target had been met.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2015.

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