Hyderabad: Farmers across Telangana are complaining about the non-availability of urea. Despite the increased acreage this Rabi season, urea is not available as per the growing demand. According to the district reports, several Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) have indulged in diverting stocks with the help of urea dealers.
On record, thousands of urea bags have been sold to farmers. But, hundreds of bags are sold to one farmer, the fudged records indicating malpractices, said a farmer from Warangal district.
The Central government has made online urea sales mandatory. Once the urea transactions are recorded online, the scams are coming to the fore, said a senior official. Out of the 900 PACS, only two-third are active in Telangana.
“For instance, more than 6,000 bags of urea were sold to a student. Yes, this is on record. Another sale transaction clearly shows that a sweeper at the agriculture cooperative society purchased 5,800 bags of urea,” said an activist.
The Telangana government has estimated that the acreage this Rabi season would be over 42 lakh acres. The acreage rose by eight lakh acres than the previous season, thanks to irrigation facilities due to Kaleshwaram project and Mission Kakatiya.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao promised one lakh tonnes of urea distribution across the state. The Telangana government has spoken to the South Central Railway and the Andhra Pradesh government to make arrangements for urea transportation from ports in Andhra Pradesh to Telangana. The CM said that he has requested the railways to arrange for 25 special goods trains to help in transporting the urea.
The cultivation area under paddy, maize, and cotton have increased significantly. The high acreage has created more demand for urea, said, officials. The state government has placed an order with IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NFL and the IDL for 15 lakh tonne of urea.
“We asked the Centre to supply 7.7 lakh tonnes of urea. But the Centre released only seven thousand tonnes,” said Telangana agriculture minister Niranjan Reddy.
The agriculture department has informed the state government that it sold over 15 lakh tonnes of urea. Officials estimate that the black market sales indicate over Rs 150 crore kickbacks from the sales of urea. Neem coated urea price per bag is Rs 266, but it is being sold in the market for Rs 350 a bag.