Sugarcane farmers agitate shirtless against sugar mill

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Virudhunagar: Cane growers are angry in Tamil Nadu over unpaid sugarcane dues. A group of farmers protested shirtless against a private sugar mill for pending arrears around Rs 14 crore. In a monthly farmers’ grievances redressal meeting headed by District Collector R. Kannan at collector office, the farmers led by Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam president N. Ramachandra Raja staged a novel demonstration.

The farmers from Rajapalayam, Srivilliputtur and Watrap taluks have cut sugarcane and sent it to the sugar mills in Vasudevanallur in Tenkasi district during 2018-19 but farmers are still awaiting for money. The farmers had raised the issue several times with the district administration but are not getting their dues from the miller, said Raja.

The farmers remained firm on their agitation even district collector tried to pacify them. According to the media report, the mill had procured 2,783-tonne sugarcane from 173 farmers for crushing during 2018-19 season.

“The mill has sold sugar, molasses and electricity but has not paid farmers dues,” he further added. Raja alleged that farmers have taken loans from banks and as the mill is not paying bill, therefore farmers are suffering.

An official told The Hindu that Collector had issued a deadline of March 5 for the sugar mill to pay outstanding dues to the cane growers, failing which another round of meeting would be held on March 6 at Rajapalayam taluk office to decide on a further course of action. .

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