Faridkot, April 22
To lodge his protest against the tardy lifting of procured wheat from the grain market in Faridkot, AAP MLA Gurdit Singh Sekhon today sat on a dharna in front of the market committee office.
He alleged the lifting process was badly infested with corruption and it needed rectification. The MLA joined arhtiyas (commission agents) who have been protesting against a private contractor for the slow pace of lifting for the past three days. Alleging the tardy lifting had caused the shortage of space in the grain markets, arhtiyas accused the contractors (who have been allotted the labour and cartage work) of not providing adequate transporting vehicles and labourers, forcing them to fend for themselves to deliver procured wheat to the food agency stores.
Sekhon ended his protest dharna after SDM Baljeet Kaur met the protesters and accepted a memorandum. The SDM said the contactor had assured of making speedy lifting of the wheat.
So far, 3,51,998 metric tonne (MT) wheat has arrived at 68 procurement centres in Faridkot. Of the total arrival, 1,67,045 MT had been lifted, claimed the SDM. Jaspreet Kaur, District Food and Supply Controller, couldn’t be contacted.
As per the norms, it is mandatory for a contractor to lift the produce from the grain market within 72 hours of procurement. However, complaints of tardy lifting are common due to the political influence of contractors. —
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