Tension at ITC Sarapaka as subabul farmers stage protest
Kothagudem: High tension prevailed at ITC Paperboard Plant at Sarapaka in the district on Thursday as farmers staged protest demanding profitable...
Kothagudem: High tension prevailed at ITC Paperboard Plant at Sarapaka in the district on Thursday as farmers staged protest demanding profitable price to subabul and eucalyptus wood. A large number of farmers and BJP Kisan Morcha leaders laid siege to the plant during which, protestors raised slogans against the government and anti-farmer decisions of ITC management. The protest was staged for about two hours in front of the factory gate.
BJP Khammam district president Galla Satyanarayana and party Kothagudem district president K Satyanarayana and others participated in the protest, led by State Kisan Morcha president Kondapally Sridhar Reddy.
The protesters and farmers requested the factory officers to come for peaceful discussions about their issues. But the company officers refused their appeal and it angered the farmers, who along with Kisan Morcha leaders, climbed the gate and tried to enter the factory.
Police dispersed protestors, arrested a few of them and shifted to Burgumpahad police station.
Speaking to the media, Sridhar Reddy demanded the ITC Paperboard management to immediately solve farmers' issues. He alleged that during a recent meeting in Khammam, the paper board officers have promised to solve the issues before January 18 but failed to do so. He demanded the ITC Paperboard to pay a price of Rs 4,500 per tonne as per the agreement made in 2018.
Accusing the ITC Paperboard officials of cheating farmers for the last few years, Sridhar Reddy wanted to do away with the middleman interference in selling the produce to the company and set up depots in Khammam and Kothagudem districts.
The BJP leader warned if ITC Paperboard management fails to resolve farmers' issues, trucks carrying subabul wood would be stopped from reaching the factory. He criticised the ITC Paperboard Management for neglecting the government orders and Khammam MP's appeal also.
BJP leaders Galla Satyanarayana and K Satyanarayana sought to know why the company is encouraging subabul crop in the district without giving a minimum support price. The company was causing farmers to suffer by offering low rates, they criticised.
Demanding the ITC Paperboard management to offer the rate as per 2018 agreement, they asserted that the BJP would extend its support to subabul farmers' issue until they resolved. Kisan Morcha and BJP leaders Numburi Rama Lingeswara Rao, Nunna Ravi Kumar, Rudra Pradeep, B Chandra Sekhar, E Veerabhadram, A Papa Rao, N Narasimha Rao, Shyam, Sairam and others participated in the protest.