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Chilli farmers take to the streets

Staff Reporter

Resent delay in payment of compensation for gutted stocks


Traffic comes to a halt on NH-5 following the agitation

Officials are seized of the matter, says revenue official


GUNTUR: Hundreds of farmers, whose chilli stocks were gutted in Nandini, Sai Surya, and Vengamamba cold storages at Ankireddipalem on April 16, 27, and May 15 respectively, staged a demonstration on Monday on the NH-5 for a couple of hours in protest against what they termed as inordinate delay in paying them compensation. They gave vent to their anger on the district administration saying that not a single pie had so far been paid to them.

As the farmers set out on the agitation path, traffic came to a grinding halt along the busy highway.

The repeated appeals of the police to not put the road-users to inconvenience fell on deaf ears.

The farmers were in no mood to oblige the police as they were still fighting for compensation more than two months after the first of the three fire accidents took place. They sought to know the difficulty in recovering the money from cold storage owners. The farmers were seething with anger that a slew of representations given to the district officials yielded no result while punitive action was said to have been initiated against the cold storage owners who were awaiting their insurance claims to be settled, which required at least two months after an incident takes place. Enough time had already been given to the cold storage owners and the farmers could no longer wait to get their loss recouped.

District Revenue Officer M. Venkateswarulu, who went to listen to the farmers' grievance, was grilled by them for the alleged inaction on the part of district administration.

He, however, managed to pacify the irate farmers saying that officials concerned were seized of the matter and they could not do anything immediately except following the established procedures in making the cold storage owners pay the price for their alleged negligence.

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