Manipur Urea crisis: Irate farmers storm the office of IW District Agriculture Officer

Imphal, July 11 2022: Distribution of urea in Imphal West district turned ugly after around 5,000 enraged farmers stormed the office of District Agriculture Officer (DAO) at Lamphel on Monday and pelted stones towards the office after officials were unable to distribute urea to farmers in time.

DAO Imphal West S Kenedy, however, said that urea distribution will continue every day on first come first serve basis but it is impossible to distribute 4000-5000 bags of urea in a day.

As per information received here, farmers from different parts of the district lined up in front of DAO Imphal West office located at mechanised farm, Lamphel as early as 1 am on Monday and the number of farmers seeking urea swelled to around 5,000 by around 11 am.

After district agriculture officials were unable to distribute urea to all the farmers lined up in queue since the wee hours, some farmers started pelting stones towards the office of DAO Imphal West and destroyed some urea bags thereby leading to an ugly situation.

All Manipur Progressive Farmers’ Association president Konthoujam Thoiba, who inspected the situation, told media persons that many farmers of Imphal West district stood in queue in front of DAO Imphal West office from lam for getting urea after learning about opening of urea distribution cell for the district at the said office.

Farmers who were waiting since lam for one bag of urea got restive when DAO officials insisted on distribution of only 250 urea bags for the day.

Consequently, the infuriated farmers then pelted stones and vandalised the office, he said, adding that the present system of urea distribution angered the farmers.

While alleging that urea distribution through ministers and MLAs was not fair and genuine farmers are deprived of their share in such distribution system, Konthoujam Thoiba appealed to ministers/MLAs not to take urea from the department if unable to distribute the same fairly.

It would be better if urea distribution is made through DAO/EO in accordance with government norm, he stressed and appealed to the chief min ister to pay attention so as to prevent further unwanted incidents relating to urea distribution.

On the other-hand, DAO Imphal West S Kenedy said that distribution of urea at urea distribution cell of Imphal West district agriculture office started on July 8 after a joint meeting of agriculture minister and DAOs held on July 7 decided to open one each urea distribution cell in each district.

However, distribution on July 8 could not be made after around 400-500 farmers stormed the cell but preparation was made to distribute urea in token system on first come first serve basis.

Regarding the unfortunate incident which occurred on Monday when the cell tried to resume urea distribution, S Kenedy said that staff of the cell opened office from 8am and made preparation for urea distribution in token system.

However, some people demanded that all the farmers gathered at the office must be given urea and started pelting stones while alleging that the present system of distribution is not right.

The attackers also damaged the lock of a warehouse storing urea and .vandalised some bags of urea, he said, adding that a police complaint will be lodged and the matter will be brought to the notice of higher authority for necessary action.

According to Kenedy, one bag of urea is not light and it takes much time to shift 1000 bags of urea from one place to another.

The department never said that urea will be not distributed to farmers.

When many farmers stormed the cell and staff were unable to distribute on daily token system, preparation was made to distribute 1,000 urea bags on Monday as per instruction of agriculture minister and department.

However, it was impossible for the department to distribute 5000 bags of urea in a single day, he said, while reiterating that the cell will distribute urea to farmers on token system daily and on first come first serve basis.

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