Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday undertook a surprise inspection of the grain market in Karnal's Gharaunda and took stock of wheat procurement arrangements. Khattar also interacted with the farmers in the mandi. The procurement of wheat started in Haryana from April 1.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda visited Samalkha and Panipat Grain Market on Monday and spoke to farmers, labourers and traders there. The Congress leader claimed that "farmers are facing problems during procurement as officials are coming up with an excuse of moisture and discoloration of grains." He claimed, "Farmers, who are already facing vagaries of the weather, are being further harassed".
Speaking to reporters at the Gharaunda mandi, Khattar said there has been lustre-loss to the wheat crops due to heavy rains in March. Farmers will get relaxation for lustre-loss, he said. Notably, repeated rain and hail storm last month had impacted the quality of grains at many places.
"I have visited many fields and mandis. One thing is clear that lusture loss has happened. I spoke to farmers and 10-20 per cent lusture loss is there at some places.." he said. Khattar said mustard crop has also suffered damage due to rains last month.
"We have ordered special girdawari (field inspection). In May, farmers will be compensated for the crop damage," he said. The chief minister also interacted with the farmers who reached the mandi with their crops and inquired about the damages caused due to rain and hailstorm.
Khattar was accompanied by BJP MLA Harvinder Kalyan. He expressed satisfaction over the procurement arrangements and directed the officials that farmers should not face any kind of problem in the mandis.
Meanwhile, Haryana's Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said every single grain of the farmers produce will be purchased and payment will be transferred directly into their accounts within 72 hours. Hooda, on the other hand, said due to the recent rains, farmers have complained of crop failure in more than 17 lakh acres.
"Wheat harvesting has started, in such a situation, when will the Girdawari be completed and when will the farmers get compensation," he asked. Hooda said as rains had affected the wheat crop this time, the farmers should be given relaxation for small grains, discolouration, moisture and lustre loss. The government should understand that the luster loss and moisture has been caused by the weather, and is not the fault of the farmers, he said.