Hundreds of farmers from across the district blocked Bahawalnagar-Arifwala Road for all kind of vehicular traffic for hours at Sutlej River bridge in protest against the closure of canal water, high prices of agriculture inputs and non-payment by sugar mills here on Monday.

According to details hundreds of farmers from across the district gathered at ‘Bhukan Pattan’ on the call of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad and staged a demo. The clubs-wielding demonstrators blocked the Bahawalnagar-Arifwala Road for several hours and were chanted slogans against canal closure. They also chanted slogan against the local sugar mills administration for non-payment of the farmers’ dues and inflated prices of agricultural inputs.

On the occasion, talking to the media the farmers representatives including Malik Ahmad, Ahmad Faraz, Nasreen Akhtar, Khalid Abbas and Asif Iqbal regretted that ‘PIDA system’ turned out to be a curse for the growers of the district due to which they were deprived of canal water. They claimed that the administration of local sugar mills did not pay dues of their produce despite lapse of several months. They also expressed anger against the inflated prices of agricultural inputs which they termed to be beyond their reach. The farmers have reached at the verge of starvation due to the anti-farmers policies of the government and if the situation continues so the country will suffer great losses,” they informed. They demanded the elimination of PIDA system and the government intervention to make the sugar mills administration pay dues of the growers according to the fixed rate. They also demanded the government to cut down the prices of agriculture inputs immediately and provide the farmers with subsidized agriculture inputs. On the occasion, they warned that they would be compelled to extend their protest if the government failed to accept their demands. Demonstrators threw the traffic out of gear for several hours, making the commuters suffer great deal of inconvenience. However, heavy police contingent remained at the site to avert any untoward incident.

ELECTED UNOPPOSED: Sabir Manzoor Chakoka was elected unopposed chairman water board district Bahawalnagar for the second consecutive term. While Shoukat Ali was elected as vice-president.