Free Press Journal

Maharashtra farmers to block all highways today


Mumbai: Even though the state government has announced an unprecedented loan waiver, the farmers’ steering committee decided to block movement of vehicles on state and National highways on Monday in the morning hours. The committee took the decision of ‘chakka jam’ in protest against the failure of implementing the loan waiver sche-me. It has also announced that no minister would be allowed to hoist the Tricolour on Independence Day across the state.

The steering committee accused the government of dragging its feet over implementation of Rs 34,000-crore loan waiver package and charge it with inserting cumbersome conditions in the scheme. The committee has also demanded scrapping of the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor, the pet project of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Raising the stakes even higher, Vishwas Utagi, member of the committee, has demanded that instead of allowing the district guardian ministers to hoist the Tricolour, the farmers should be allowed to do so.

Also Read: Maharashtra: Farmers begin stir, Mumbai yet to feel pinch

“Activists will block all major national and state highways in the state from morning of August 14,” he said. It may be recalled that a couple of months ago when the farmers took to the streets demanding a complete farm loan waiver scheme, they had emptied vegetables and poured milk on to the streets.

Ajit Navale, another member of the steering committee said, “Due to the cumbersome conditions, many farmers have been denied benefits of the loan waiver scheme. The government is delaying the implementation by deliberately creating chaos in online registration.” He further said the constant falling prices of agricultural products has made the situation worse.  “The government is deliberately complicating the academic problems faced by farmers’ children,” Navale added.

Main demands

  1. scrapping of the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor
  2. waiving off all regular and pending loans of the farmers
  3. waiving of loans on agricultural farm implements
  4. giving 50 per cent minimum assured procurement prices for agricultural produce
  5. implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations
  6. government should take over aged cattle of farmers
  7. revoke the ban on export of agricultural produce
  8. Rs 3,000 pension for farmers above the age of 60 years.