Pending bills increase farmers' woes

Out of five sugar factories in the district, four owe Rs 89.96 crore to thousands of farmers. Despite all the seven taluks declared ‘drought-hit’, the factories turned a blind-eye to the woes of farmers, aggravating the latters’ problems.

State government-owned MySugar has to pay Rs 10 crore arrears to sugarcane growers, while, Pandavapura Cooperative Sugar Factory owes Rs 3.7 crore, NSL of Koppa in Maddur taluk owes Rs 30 crore and Chamundeshwari Sugar Factory of Bharathinagar in Maddur taluk owes Rs 46.26 crore. However, the Coromandel Sugar Factory in K R Pet has cleared all arrears.

Farmers had supplied sugarcane to factories during February last, as there was no cane later due to drought. Even after completion of four months, their bills remain unpaid.
Though the bills of farmers should be cleared within 15 days of supplying sugarcane, failing which it should be paid along with 14 per cent interest, factories do not abide by rules.

‘Lone source of income’

Yogesh, a farmer, who is fed up of visiting the factory to get his arrears cleared, told Deccan Herald that the bills were the lone source of income for his family.

Farmers allege that the district administration too has not responded to their problems positively.

S Krishna of the Sugarcane Suppliers Association urged that their bills be cleared immediately to prevent further loss to farmers. “They need to invest on their next crop as monsoon is approaching,” he said.

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