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Farmers lift blockade on NH-44 in Haryana after govt intervention

Kurukshetra (Haryana),  Farmers on Saturday lifted their over 20-hour blockade of the National Highway-44 at Shahabad here after the government assured them of increasing the ceiling on per acre yield for procuring crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Farmers under Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union (Chaduni) had on Friday blocked the national highway connecting Delhi and Chandigarh, demanding the government to immediately begin paddy procurement.

The procurement of Kharif crops, including paddy, in Haryana will start from October 1.

Haryana BKU (Chaduni) chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni said the decision to end the stir was taken after the government agreed to consider procuring 30 quintals of paddy per acre instead of the earlier 22 quintals.

“It was decided that the average yield of 30 quintals per acre will be considered for procurement at MSP in the main paddy yielding districts and 28 quintals per acre in other paddy districts,” an official said.

Chaduni hoped this decision would help the farmers in selling sell most of their produce at MSP.

Kurukshetra Deputy Commissioner Shantanu Sharma said the government agreed to help farmers to stack their paddy in the grain markets till the procurement process starts on October 1.

Chaduni said the problem arose this year due to the government order that said none, including rice mills, could buy paddy from the farmers before October 1.

He said earlier, rice mills and commission agents used to purchase the paddy but supply it to the government agencies after the procurement began.

Meanwhile, the vehicular movement that had come to a standstill since Friday afternoon as the protesting farmers had blocked the highway with their tractors, was cleared.

In a mid-night hearing, the bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Alok Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the state government to clear off the traffic and ensure that the NH-44 is free for vehicular movement. PTI