Punjab: Labour crisis delays paddy transplantation

By Aman Sood

Even as the paddy transplantation season has begun in parts of Punjab, farmers are facing a shortage of migrant labourers, who are yet to arrive from UP and Bihar. Most farmers claim that they will wait till June 25 and then start paddy transplantation as labour availability is easier during the peak time.

Farmers claim that the labour is yet to arrive and they are waiting for a spell of rain. “With no rain respite for another 10 days likely, it is better to wait and not rush with paddy as the temperatures are very high and the dry weather is not suitable for transplanting the paddy saplings”, they said.

“I spoke to my regular labourers and they have said if they arrive early, they will get low rates and irregular work”, they stated.

Last year, the prevalent rate for migrant labour was around Rs 2,300 to 25,00 per acre in addition to tea, ration and liquor in the evening.

“However this year, those in touch have said they will reach by June 21 to 25. Once it rains, the rates will go higher as farmers want to get paddy transplanted at the earliest and the labourers make hay”, claimed Jasdeep Singh Garcha, a Doraha landlord.

As per the government orders, canal water will be supplied to farmers uninterruptedly in Muktsar, Faridkot, Mansa, Bathinda, Fazilka and Ferozepur from June 11. In Moga, Sangrur, Malerkotla, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, SAS Nagar, Rupnagar, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Pathankot, the power for water will be supplied from June 15.

Meanwhile, officials in PSPCL claimed that there was an increase of around 1000 MW in the power demand on day one, but since majority farmers are waiting for labour to arrive, the actual power demand will rise.

This article has been republished from the Tribune.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *