Ludhiana, February 12
A first ‘Sarkar-Kisan Milni’ (government-farmer interaction) was today held at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here.
Farmers in large numbers started reaching the university since early morning but they were not happy with the arrangements made for them.
The scheduled time for the event was 11 am and many farmers reached the venue at 6 am to avoid rush. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann reached the PAU nearly two hours late, as a result, many of the farmers started returning to their places without meeting him.
Jasdev Singh, a farmer from Bathinda, said much propagation of the event being one of its kind was done.
“I am disgruntled with the arrangements at the venue. We reached the place at 6 am without having any meal and leave aside refreshments, even there is no arrangement of water. I am returning without attending the meeting as it is already 1 pm,” he said.
He said: “The government should not make a mockery of farmers. We are simple people and do not ask much but proper arrangements should have been made. Next time, if the government plans any such meeting, it should ensure proper arrangements.”
Another farmer from Lutera Kalan village, near Jalandhar, said it surely was a historical meeting but they were not aware if the Chief Minister was actually coming or not. “We are waiting since morning without food or water. We were excited for the event but there were no arrangements. I have not eaten anything since the morning and could not take medicine due to the same. Now, I am returning home. Arrangements were made for VIPs but nobody thought about farmers who came all the way from other districts to attend the event,” he rued.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister exhorted farmers to adopt new methods, besides regular agricultural practices to enhance their income. “Agriculture is no longer a profitable occupation due to increase in the input cost. Farmers need to think beyond traditional crops to make it a profitable venture,” he said.
PAU, GADVASU teachers continue protest
The PAU and GADVASU Teachers Union continued their protest. They gathered outside the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics at the PAU and raised slogans against the government. They are protesting against the non-implementation of the 7th Pay Scales. All staff members wore black badges and black clothes as a mark of protest. Later during the day after the milni, a five-member delegation from the union met the Chief Minister. Dr HS Kingra, president, PAUTA, said the meeting was fruitful and the CM assured them of accepting their demands. “We will continue with the protest till our demands are accepted and implemented,” he said.
Fire personnel submit memorandum to Mann
Employees of the Punjab Fire and Emergency Services today reached the venue of Sarkar- Kisan Milni to submit their memorandum to the Chief Minister. They have been trying to submit their demands since long and today were finally successful in doing the same. Sartaj Singh, an outsourced firemen, said they were working in the department since 2015 and their services had not been regularised till now. “We are well trained and have done all necessary courses but they were still working on a contractual basis. The government has now opened jobs in the department and their main demand was their services should be regularised before making new appointments as they had been working since eight years. The Municipal Corporation even passed a resolution to regularise them during the regime of the Congress government and a proposal was sent to the Local Bodies Department but nothing was done in this regard.
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