While farmers of Moirang side have warned of imposing 48-hour bandh along Tiddim Road from August 26 if the government failed to provide fertiliser by August 25, farmers under Potshangbam Zilla Parishad staged a sit-in on Tuesday at Khonghampat in Imphal West.
Earlier, over 15,000 bags were reportedly lying at the Jiribam Railway station, as according to the government, transportation was not possible due to the breaking down of Irang bridge.
Chief Minister N Biren had assured that the fertilisers will be transported within the next few days as connectivity was restored.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the protest, Khonghampat Youth Club president Chongtham Dhurvatara Khaba lamented over the alleged apathetic attitude of the government towards the farmers.
He contended that the government has failed to fulfil its repeated assurances to make fertilisers available to the farmers.
Meanwhile, farmers also suspect that the fertiliser scarcity is being caused by black marketing and diversion of urea for use in poppy cultivation.
Loumee Sinmee Apun Lup (LOUSAL) president Mutum Churamani expressed suspicion whether urea meant for use in the paddy fields are being diverted for poppy cultivation.
He pointed out that the area of cultivable land in the state has been reduced since 2014 while the allocated quantity of urea and the demand placed by the state government is on the rise over the years.
He further stated that the cultivation of poppy in the hill areas has exponentially increased as well.
“In 2000, only 15 per cent of the hill areas cultivated poppy. However, in 2021, poppy cultivation expanded to as many as 40 per cent of the hill areas,” Churamani said.
Earlier, the farmers have warned of imposing bandh along NH-39. They chose the sit-in considering the hardships that will be mounted on the people, he said. He cautioned that farmers will intensify the agitations if their demand is not fulfilled within the next 2-3 days.