Farmer outfits reject govt’s power supply schedule for paddy sowing

Patiala: Sixteen farmer unions on Sunday rejected the electricity supply schedule issued by the Punjab government for the upcoming paddy sowing season, asserting that they will start transplanting the crop from June 10.

They came to the decision after a meeting with the chairman and managing director of power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) here.

The state government has decided to allow paddy sowing in a staggered manner, beginning from June 18 with the aim to lessen the burden on electricity and conserve underground water.

From June 18, paddy transplantation would start in Sangrur, Barnala, Malerkotla, Ludhiana, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib districts, while sowing will commence from June 22 in Bathinda, Mansa, Moga, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Fazilka, according to a government notification.

From June 24, paddy sowing will start in Mohali, SBS Nagar, Kapurthala, and Muktsar, and from June 26, it will start in Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts.

The government also allowed paddy sowing with direct seeding of rice technique from May 20.

Electricity supply to farmers for irrigation will start from the dates fixed for the commencement of paddy sowing, the notification read.

After a meeting with the PSPCL chairman, the farmers said they reject the new schedule for paddy sowing and electricity supply announced by the state government.

BKU (Dakaunda) president Buta Singh Burjgill termed the move “dictatorial” and said it was not acceptable.

“The government did not consult with farmers before releasing the sowing and electricity supply schedule,” he said. Burjgill said farmers would start paddy sowing from June 10.

He added that they would hold an agitation to press the state government to ensure electricity supply from June 10.

The farmers further demanded 12 hours of power supply from the PSPCL against the eight hours of proposed supply.

Another farmer leader Harmeet Singh Kadian said they will announce their next course of action in their next meeting on May 20.


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