Agri Business

Maharashtra sugarcane cutters stuck in lockdown

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on March 30, 2020

Thousands of sugarcane cutters stuck in the sugar belt of Maharashtra are in a quandary. Their villages don’t want them back fearing that they would bring coronavirus with them, while the workers don’t want to continue cane cutting fearing infection.

In drought-prone Jat taluka, about 30 sugarcane cutters who returned back to their village were allegedly beaten up by villagers and forced to leave. They were taken to the primary health centre for a check-up. Villagers have warned that they would not allow cane cutters to enter till they are quarantined for 14 days.

No sugar mill in Maharashtra has officially reported closure due to the Covid-19 spread but the lockdown has affected cane cutting process. 56 out of 146 sugar mills have stopped the crushing season.

Lakhs of cane cutters migrate from Marathwada region to sugar belt during cane season. About 2.5 crore people in rural Maharashtra depend on the sugar season to earn their livelihoods and the majority of them are cane cutters.

With the Central government announcing lockdown and the State government sealing district borders, cane cutters are stuck near sugar mills. State social justice minister Dhananjay Munde has appealed to the cane cutters not to leave the locality and try to migrate to their villages. Munde said that the State government has ordered sugar mills to provide food, shelter and health facilities to cane cutters. He warned that any attempt to migrate from one place to another would create a potential threat for their health.

Published on March 30, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like