Chandigarh: With farmers' agitation entering the second day on Saturday, vegetable prices at various cities in Punjab, Haryana started soaring in the wake of the dwindling fresh supplies of farm produce in mandis even as the farmers dumped vegetables, milk on roads and blocked supplies to cities.
As part of the 10-day agitation starting from Friday, the farmers stopped the supply of vegetables, fruits, milk and other items to various cities against the alleged anti-farmer policies of the Centre.
Though the impact of farmers' stir on the price of farm commodities was not visible on Friday, the retail prices of vegetables in several cities soared in the range of Rs 10-20 per kg on the second day, forcing consumers in cities to shell out more for buying vegetables.
According to traders in Chandigarh, the price of tomatoes soared to Rs 20-25 per kg against Rs 10-15 per kg prevailing two days back. Similarly, retail prices of potatoes, capsicum, bottle gourd, cucumber, have also gone up on short supplies.
Traders said the fresh supplies of vegetables coming through vehicles in mandis have dwindled, triggering fears of more price rise in coming days.
The farmers continued to hold protest at several places in Punjab, including Nabha, Ludhiana, Muktsar, Tarn Taran, Nangal and Ferozepur and there were reports that farmers even put up blockades not to allow supply of vegetables and milk entering cities.
According to a report from Ferozepur, the farmers allegedly forced the closure of vegetable mandi.
In Bathinda, a group of farmers, owing allegiance to the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur), stopped some milk sellers from going to the city in the morning at village Jodhpur Romana which resulted into heated arguments among them.
Milk sellers were requesting the protesting farmers to allow them to sell their milk but they refused, said police.
Then, four farmers were taken into preventive custody, said Bathinda police station Sadar SHO Iqbal Singh. The farmers even staged sit-in outside police station demanding release of their fellow farmers.
In Mohali, a group of farmers parked their cars outside the entry gate of Verka milk plant as part of their protest. They were demanding that Verka milk plant should not procure milk from farmers. Verka is a brand of cooperative federation Milkfed Punjab.
The decision to stop supplies starting from June 1 till June 10 was taken by farmers under the banner of Kisan Ekta Manch and Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh.
The farmer organisations have been demanding minimum income guarantee scheme, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report and waiver of farmers' debt.