Jalandhar (Punjab): In the wake of the recent closure of the Phagwara sugar mill by local authorities, the Doaba Kisan Union is issuing warnings to sugarcane farmers in the region, advising them against endorsing a letter purportedly representing their interests in reopening the mill, reported Tribune India.
Addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Kapurthala, the letter calls for the immediate resumption of mill operations to prevent difficulties to sugarcane farmers. However, the BKU Doaba, a prominent farmers’ union, has raised doubts about the authenticity of the letter, asserting that it neither originates from the farmers nor their union.
BKU Doaba has further declared its stance on not permitting the mill to resume operations until all outstanding payments owed to sugarcane farmers are settled.
In response to the situation, DC Kapurthala, and Capt Karnail Singh, confirmed that he had not yet received the disputed letter.
The letter, issued by “sugarcane producers,” expresses concern over the recent closure of the Phagwara mill, due to some Kisan union leaders and the subsequent intervention of the administration. It also claims that the steps taken by both the Kisan unions and the government have jeopardized the prospects of sugarcane producers.
The letter concludes by appealing to the authorities to get the locks opened and make a prompt decision on its operations and repairs, to prevent disruptions to sugarcane supply and payments.
Davinder Singh Sandhwan, the Vice-President of BKU Doaba, expressed, “The letter has not been endorsed by sugarcane farmers in the region or our union. We support the mill’s operation, but not at the expense of our unpaid dues. Whoever is behind this letter seems to advocate for the mill’s reopening without addressing our outstanding claims. We call upon the government and the administration to prioritize the clearance of our pending dues, which amount to Rs 43 crore.”
Sandhwan continued, “None of the farmers in our region have appended their signatures to this document. We are actively discouraging our fellow farmers from endorsing it.”
Kapurthala DC Capt Karnail Singh commented, “I have not received any such letter thus far. If it comes to my attention, I will forward it to the agriculture department or the government for consideration.