Vehicular movement on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway in Mandya district was affected for more than two hours on Thursday, as farmers staged a road-block in all towns and villages along the highway, putting forth their various demands.
The farmers urged the government to start the operation of sugar factories, fixing of scientific price for sugarcane, payment of arrears by sugar factories to farmers, apart from other demands. The farmers formed human chains, squatted on the road and even brought bullock carts and tractors to register their protest.
The road-block was staged for over an hour in Srirangapatna and more than two hours in Maddur town. As traffic from Bengaluru to Mysuru is usually diverted via Kanakpura and Malavalli, whenever a road-block protest is staged on the highway, farmers staged a protest in Malavalli for more effect.
Addressing the protesters, MLA K S Puttaniah accused both the State and the Centre of following anti-farmer policies. Demanding that the release of water to Tamil Nadu from the KRS dam be stopped immediately, the protesters urged the government to declare the entire district drought-hit, as the monsoon has failed.
Pacifying the agitators, Deputy Commissioner Dr Ajay Nagabushan said that the sugar factories would start functioning after August 17. “Steps would be initiated to disburse arrears from the factories to the farmers,” he assured.
Pandavapura Sahakara Sakkare Kharkhane chairperson K S Nanjundegowda, Raitha Sangha leaders Konasale Narasaraju, Ramakrishnaiah and Rajegowda, and others led the protests.