RAUTAHAT, Jan 1: Shree Ram Sugar Mills of Garuda, Rautahat, has not begun sugarcane crushing this season yet, leaving many farmers in dismay.
The mill has not cleared pending dues worth Rs 220 million to farmers yet. It is still to determine price of sugarcane for this season.
Farmers say that their sugarcane is drying up in their field as they await last year’s payment form the mill.
The floods of August had caused havoc in sugarcane fields, making sugarcane plants to fall and dry out.
Fearing loss caused by decline in weight of sugarcane under sun, many farmers have started selling cane to local jaggery makers at lower price. These jaggery makers have crushed at least 50,000 quintals so far.
Though most of the mills in neighboring districts have already begun crushing, Shree Ram Sugar Mills has remained shut this season so far, citing damage in its plant. Mechanics from Indian state of Punjab are busy repairing the plant, according to officials of the mill.
While it is not known when the mill will be back into operation, Sugarcane Producers Association has said that it would not allow the mill to resume operation unless it clears dues of farmers.