‘Acche Din Came Only for the Govt,’ Say Bijnor’s Sugarcane Farmers

With 9 sugar mills owing them Rs 500 crore, sugarcane farmers in UP’s Bijnor are protesting to get the dues cleared.

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Since the beginning of September, hundreds of sugarcane farmers in UP’s Bijnor district have been protesting outside the DM’s office. Their claim is, local sugar mill owners who bought their produce haven’t paid them their dues since 2018.

The farmers say that around nine sugar mills in Bijnor owe them some Rs 500 crore.

Between 1-15 September, sugarcane farmers from neighbouring villages also participated in the protests, in which the protesters got their heads shaved in order to attract the attention of the district administration.

Almost every farmer who took part in these protests told The Quint that their personal lives have been badly affected by the delay in the clearance of their dues. While some are struggling to pay their children’s school fees, others had to take out loans for medical emergency.

“The issue is that we’re unable to pay our kids’ school fees. They are being punished at school. We don’t even have the money for treatment. We either take out loans or borrow money from others.”
Mahavir Singh, Farmer

A week after the farmers pitched tents outside the DM’s office and continued to build pressure, the concerned authorities did spring into action.

Notices were issued to sugar mills and the district cane officer was quoted saying that FIRs would be registered.

However, no action has been taken against the errant sugar mills so far.

“As per government orders, if payment is not made within 14 days, we’re liable for interest. On 5 April, the Allahabad High Court had ordered that we’re liable for 7-15 percent interest rate. Nothing happened after that.”
Ankur Chaudhary, Farmer 

(With inputs from Neeraj Kumar)

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