Silk growers' ire brings traffic to halt on City-Mysore Road

Police had a tough time in clearing the road blockade after the talks with the protesting farmers failed. They even prepared themselves to use canes to disperse the protesters and control the situation.

However, the farmers withdrew the protest after the Minster for Forest C P Yogeeshwar met them and promised to fulfill their demands. The vehicles were lined up for more than five kilometres on both directions-towards Mysore and Bangalore.
Farmers had blocked Bangalore-Mysore Road for over ten hours on February 27 this year when the prices had suddenly dipped.

Families who were on their way to Srirangapatna, Mysore and Kodagu had a tough time as they were stuck in the cars for hours. Hundreds of couples with small children were seen struggling to find a way out of the traffic mess.

Different routes

K A Rajkumar, Director, Operations, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, said: “Buses from Bangalore to Mysore were directed to different routes to avoid being stopped by the farmers on strike. The corporation for the second time since July had to face upto three hours delay between 11.30 am and 3 pm due to traffic pile ups,” he added.

Ganapathi, Assistant Traffic Manager, Majestic Bus Stand, said: “We did not face much of a problem, but buses coming from Mysore had trouble. After 12 noon, we alerted all bus drivers about the diversions which they had to take.”
Majority of diversions were made through the Kanakapura route. The number of cancelled schedules and loss due to the protest are yet to be assessed.

Tense Sunday morning

Farmers, who had gathered at government silk cocoon market around 10 am for auction, were in for a shock when the reelers (those buying cocoons) priced the cocoons between Rs 30 and 50.

The cocoons were priced between Rs 150 and Rs 180 on Saturday. The farmers boycotted the auction and came on the road and blocked it as a mark of protest.
The farmers spend between Rs 200 and 250 to produce a kg of cocoon. They end up incurring losses even if the price is fixed at Rs 180. “What should we do if the price is fixed between Rs 35 and 40,” Nanjayya, one of the farmers questioned.

“Grade III cocoon was priced between Rs 5 and Rs 10, which was nothing but mockery of farmers. The farmers are facing problems due to anti-silk policy of the Central government and inability of the State government to help farmers. The State has failed to declare support price to save the farmers from incurring losses. Moreover, the middlemen are continuously harassing us”, he alleged.

Compromise

Yogeeshwar came to the spot at 3 pm and held discussions with the reelers and the farmers, struck a compromise and pacified the protesters.

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