A demonstration by farmers here in Rajasthan demanding seven hours of uninterrupted electricity supply and power connections entered its fifth day on Monday, with three rounds of talks between them and Discom officials on the issues remaining inconclusive.
The farmers' 'mahapadav' at the Jodhpur power distribution company (Discom) began on Thursday.
Besides seven hours uninterrupted power supply for agriculture and immediately issuing transformers to farmers who have deposited money for electricity connections, a demand for reserve stock of five transformers in every division to expedite replacement of the burnt transformers has also been put forth, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh's Rajasthan secretary Tulcha Ram Sinwar said.
The demonstrators said their sit-in will continue as no action has been taken by officials on their demands. There has to be visible results on the ground, Sinwar added.
The Discom's officials, however, claimed that the farmers' problems have been resolved.
On Saturday, Rajasthan Energy Minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati had said that among the Discom's in the state, the Jodhpur Discom handles the largest power burden as Jodhpur is a desert district. "Here the demand of farmers (for electricity) is more. But we have been striving hard to fulfil their demands in consultation with officials," he had said.
"The underground water table in this region has gone below 1,000 feet at many places. Therefore, to pump water out, more electricity is needed," the minister had said and had asked farmers to cooperate with the state government.
Sinwar said the farmers' demands have been conveyed to officials several times in the past, but only assurances were given. No action has been taken, he claimed.
"So this time, we are determined that till we see action on the ground, we will continue our protest," the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) official said. The protesters also claimed that more farmers will join the sit-in, if there is no "visible development".
Sinwar claimed that farmers have been suffering from power cuts and low-voltage. These have affected watering of crops, resulting in low yields and they drying up, he said.
Farmers have also accused the Jodhpur Discom's officials of arbitrarily interpreting the conditions of the state government's announcement of 2,000 units of free of cost electricity to them.
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