Deccan Chronicle

Plea to reopen TSF; farmers in deep distress as crushing season approaches

Deccan Chronicle| Narender Pulloor

Published on: September 23, 2021 | Updated on: September 23, 2021

Sugarcane farmers are worried over the continued closure of the Trident Sugar Factory (TSF) in Zaheerabad

A farmer harvests sugarcane crop in a field in Muzaffarnagar. (PTI Photo)

A farmer harvests sugarcane crop in a field in Muzaffarnagar. (PTI Photo)

HYDERABAD: Sugarcane farmers are worried over the continued closure of the Trident Sugar Factory (TSF) in Zaheerabad. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the management had suspended the crushing season last year. As a result, farmers had been forced to shift the sugarcane to Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The farmers are on the agitation path to pressurise the factory management and the state government to clear the way for the reopening of the factory at the start of the new crushing season.  

Usually, the season begins by October end or the beginning of November. So far, no arrangement has been made for crushing in the Trident sugar factory.

Notably, amid favorable climate conditions, the farmers had cultivated sugarcane on 26,000 acres in the Trident factory zone limits and expected around 10 lakh metric tonnes of the yield. They are not sure, however, of the reopening of the sugar factory and are hence in deep distress.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Gudipally Kondalreddy, sugarcane farmer of Buchinelli village, said he expected that the state government would give an assurance to the farmers on the starting of the crushing season. "The government should take the initiative for reopening of the Trident Sugars, or hold out a promise to pay transport charges and toll taxes to the farmers if they shift the sugarcane for other factories," he said.

The factory management cleared the sugarcane arrears of the 2019 season only in last May this year, he noted.

Sugarcane farmers took out a huge rally on September 3 in Zaheerabad seeking the reopening of the factory. They also observed a bandh in Zaheerabad on Wednesday. Political parties, youth organisations and traders voluntarily extended their support for the bandh. They are threatening to intensify the agitation. They say they would lay siege to the residences of TRS MLAs, MLCs and Pragathi Bhavan, official residence of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, if the government failed to respond positively.

Sugarcane farmer Billipuram Madhavareddy said thousands of families of farmers and workers depended on sugarcane cultivation and crushing for their livelihood. If the government fails to respond soon, these farmers will incur heavy losses, he said.

"In the last crushing season, farmers suffered heavily due to the shifting of sugarcane for crushing in mills in Maharashtra and Karnataka states. Some people are misleading the farmers on the reopening of the Trident," he alleged.  

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Ippepally primary agriculture cooperative society chairman and DCCB director Pawar Kishan Rao said the society brought the sugarcane farmers’ issue to the notice of the local MP, MLA, MLC. "A decision will be taken at government level," he said, adding, "We explained the apathy of farmers to the higher-ups in the government and are hopeful of an early decision."

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