Western UP: Farmers Angry Over Delay From Govt on Fulfilling Poll Promises
File Image. Representational Image
Lucknow: Anger is brewing among farmers across western Uttar Pradesh on multiple scores, including the issue of the state power corp's recent decision to meter the unmetered pumps used mainly for irrigation purposes in the rural belt and longstanding dispute of pending sugarcane dues. In Meerut and Shamli, farmers held a stir against the move and now Bijnor, too, faces a similar resistance.
The resentment has been simmering for several months but flared up on Tuesday as Bijnor farmers felt that the state government had not fulfilled its promises made during the 2022 Assembly elections. They alleged that since the government belongs to the BJP, there is no reason that the BJP-led NDA government cannot resolve it at the Centre.
The farmers have accused the government of betraying them by not fulfilling the promises of providing free electricity. The farmers have threatened to uproot the meters installed on the tube wells and fill them in the offices of the concerned officials.
According to the farmers, the state government had announced a 50% reduction in tariff just before the UP Assembly polls. As per its directions, a tariff of Rs 2/unit on metered pumps was to be reduced to Re 1/unit, and on the unmetered pumps, Rs 170/HP was to be reduced to Rs 85. Farmers claimed that the government didn't keep up its promise.
There were reports of protests in at least two different parts of the district, including Bijnor and Shamli, during the past 24 hours under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Arajnaitik). Farmers reached the collectorate in hundreds riding on tractors. During this, the barricading on the exhibition ground was also removed by the farmers. A minor scuffle took place between police and farmers.
The national president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Arajnaitik) Yuva Morcha Digambar Singh, who led the protests, warned that if these issues were not resolved, the BKU would start a jail-bharo agitation.
"The promises made by the state government to the farmers at the time of elections were not fulfilled even after five months. The state government put an additional burden of electricity on the farmers. The farmers in West UP are upset about this," Singh told NewsClick.
He further said, "Electricity bill is being taken from farmers according to Rs 35/HP in Haryana and Rs 185 in UP, whereas this is free in Punjab. We do not want electricity for free. But, a wrong decision will ruin farmers."
According to the statistics shared by Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd, which caters to 14 districts, there are over 4.40 lakh unmetered tube wells -- power connections which are to be metered. This exercise has triggered protests in parts of western UP.
Several farmers also aired their grievances to NewsClick and requested the state authorities to look into the matter immediately. They also raised the issue of pending cane dues and alleged most of the sugar mills have not made their payment in a time-bound manner.
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