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PUNJAB MANDI BOARD ESTABLISHES CONTROL ROOM FOR ALL DISTRICTS TO RESOLVE PROCUREMENT ISSUES

* EVERY SINGLE GRAIN OF FARMERS’ PRODUCE WOULD BE PROCURED, REIERATES CHAIRMAN MANDI BOARD

CHANDIGARH, APRIL 11 (Ozi Indian News Bureau) : With a view to facilitate farmers and Arthiyas during Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) commenced from April 10 in the state, Punjab Mandi Board issued contact numbers of State Control Room setup at Mandi Board Headquarters in Mohali. The numbers have been made operational for all 22 districts to promptly address the issues of farmers and Arthiyas during procurement operations in wake of COVID-19.

Reiterating the resolve of Punjab Government led by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to procure every single grain of the farmers' produce, Chairman Mandi Board Lal Singh said that all necessary health protocols as well as social distancing measures would be followed in the right earnest to keep the spread of Covid-19 under check. He also added that elaborate arrangements were in place and necessary directions have already been issued to concerned authorities in this regard.

Disclosing further, a Spokesperson of the Mandi Board said that the Chairman also suggested the farmers to download ‘epmb mobile app’ of Mandi Board to get the latest information regarding Mandi activities as well as e-passes for wheat procurement. This app would be immensely beneficial for all stakeholders in the procurement of wheat amid COVID-19, added the spokesperson.

The Spokesperson further said that initially the farmers and arthiyas would be required to contact their Secretary Market Committees for any issue related to procurement and if the same is not resolved, they could contact their respective district control room number.

The Spokesperson further informed that the Mandi Board has also created an email ID wheat.proc2020.ctrl@punjab.gov.in for the purpose of registering complaints.

Giving details of control room, the spokesperson stated that these have been established for all districts where teams of mandi board have been deputed to get the complaints regarding wheat procurement operations resolved. The farmers and arthiyas of Amritsar district can contact at (0172-5101647), Barnala (0172-5101673) , Bathinda (0172-5101668), Faridkot (0172-5101694), Fatehgarh Sahib (0172-5101665), Fazilka (0172-5101650), Firozpur (0172-5101609), Gurdaspur (0172-5101619), Hoshiarpur (0172-5101605), Jalandhar (0172-5101682), Kapurthala (0172-5101620), Ludhiana (0172-5101629) and Mansa (0172-5101648).

Likewise, the farmers and arthiyas of Moga can contact the control room at 0172-5101700, Mohali (0172-5101641), Pathankot (0172-5101651), Patiala (0172-5101652), Ropar (0172-5101646), Sangrur (0172-5101692), S.B.S. Nagar (0172-5101649), Sri Muktsar Sahib (0172-5101659) and Tarn Taran (0172-5101643).


PROCUREMENT KICKS OFF IN PUNJAB AFTER CAPT AMARINDER GOVT AMENDS SOFTWARE TO ENSURE CONTINUED ARHTIYA INVOLVEMENT

· ARHTIYAS CALL OFF STRIKE AS CM ASSURES ‘TILL I’M THERE YOU WILL REMAIN PART OF THE SYSTEM’

· CAPT AMARINDER TELLS THEM ‘WE FOUGHT HARD ON DBT ISSUE, BUT CENTRE THREATENED NOT TO PROCURE FROM PUNJAB’



Chandigarh, April 10 (Ozi Indian Bureau): Wheat procurement kicked off in Punjab on Saturday with the Arhtiyas calling off their proposed strike after Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered various steps to ensure their continued involvement in the process and immediate release of their pending payments of Rs. 131 crores without waiting for dues to come from FCI.

On the Chief Minister’s directives, the State Food Department has amended the procurement software so that the Arhtiyas will continue to be involved in the process of release of payments to the farmers, albeit in a modified manner, while farmers get their payments in their bank accounts within 48 hours, as mandated by the state government.

Declaring his unequivocal commitment to safeguarding the interests of Punjab’s Arhtiyas, Captain Amarinder said that despite the Government of India’s directives to exclude them from MSP payments, “the Arhtiyas shall always be associated with procurement”. “Till I am there, you will part of the system, and your role will always remain,” he asserted, adding that he will ensure that the Arhtiya Commission and other charges permitted under the APMC Act shall continue.

Commenting on the Government of India’s adamant refusal to accept the state’s request for deferment of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system, the Chief Minister said, “We fought hard with the Centre on the issue, but they were adamant, and even went to the extent of threatening not to procure from Punjab if we do not implement the DBT.”

The Chief Minister also ordered the Finance Department to immediately release Rs. 131 crore due to the Ahrtiyas without waiting for it from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which had withheld payments after some Arhtiyas had failed to upload details. These Arhtiyas were probably misguided at that time by people who wanted to play politics, he said, adding that even though the money was yet to come from FCI, his government would release it immediately, without waiting for the same. He also assured the Arhtiyas that his government will take up with the Centre the issue of 30% deduction in labour payments made by the FCI.

Captain Amarinder thanked Vijay Kalra, the president of the Federation of Arhtiya Association of Punjab, for heeding his government’s plea to withdraw their proposed strike and lift the grain as the farmers would otherwise have suffered. He appealed to the Arhtiyas to immediately start procurement and also take care of Covid norms. The government had to delay procurement this year till April 10 (from the previously scheduled April 1) on account of the second surge of Covid.

The Chief Minister said like last year, farmers will again be issued passes this year to reduce congestion at the Mandis in view of the pandemic situation. He assured that farmer passes would be issued at the District Level, strictly in consultation with the Arhtiyas who are in the best position to know which farmer has harvested his crop and is ready to come to the Mandi.

Sharing the Arhtiyas’ pain, which he said he could feel from the bottom of his heart, the Chief Minister said he failed to understand why the central government was treating them and the farmers in such a shoddy manner. He recalled that the system of Arhtiyas prevailed even when he was a kid, and visited mandis with his grandfather, and said it was inexplicable why the Government of India wanted to ruin it. The Arhtiyas are not middlemen but service providers, he said, adding that the private sector can function along with the existing system and there was no need to change it.

Pointing to the 72% increase in farmers’ earning, he attributed it to the combined efforts of the farmers and the Arhtiyas. “Your contribution to the Green Revolution and filling of India’s granaries is unforgettable,” he told them, adding that he does not agree with anything that the Centre is doing on Agriculture. He assured that all their concerns would be addressed, and all the commitments made to them will be fulfilled.

Announcing the withdrawal of the strike in the interest of the state and the farmers, Kalra thanked Captain Amarinder and his government for their support in their fight with the Centre. The Centre, he said, was penalising Punjab for the farmers’ agitation. Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu told the Chief Minister the Arhtiyas simply wanted protection for their business and livelihood.


Subaru XV Hybrid: Price premium doesn’t buy much fuel efficiency

OZI INDIAN TV CHANNEL: A hybrid runs on electricity and petrol (or, in a few models, diesel), but there are also several distinct sub-species, including series/parallel, plug-in and the curiously-named “mild” hybrid.
Series/parallel hybrids include the new Subaru XV, which we’re driving today. This is the most common type, introduced to the mass market in 2001 by Toyota when it launched the original Prius.
As the name implies, its petrol engine and electric motor can operate in series — that is, with the petrol engine spinning a generator that produces electricity (stored in a battery) to power an electric motor which, in turn, drives the wheels — or in parallel, with either or both petrol and electricity supplying the power.

VALUE

If you’re interested in a hybrid primarily for fuel economy the XV probably isn’t your car, because by hybrid standards it’s not particularly efficient.
Its 12.3kW/66kW electric motor/small capacity lithium-ion battery pack is a passenger for much of the time, so the 2.0-litre petrol engine does most of the work. Subaru claims the hybrid will run in electric mode at low speed for short distances, but in reality that’s little more than the first few metres from rest, using the gentlest of caresses on the accelerator.
Compared with the 2.0-litre petrol XV, Subaru’s official test numbers show the hybrid’s advantage as just 0.1L/100km on the highway (5.9L/100km vs 6.0L/100km) and 1.3L/100km in town (7.5L/100km vs 8.8L/100km).
Around town on test the XV averaged 8-9L/100km. Toyota’s C-HR hybrid averaged 3-4L/100km, largely because its much more powerful 53kW/163Nm electric motor/higher capacity battery is often shifting the C-HR through stop/start city traffic without assistance from the 1.8-litre petrol engine. For the same reason, the Toyota’s combined CO2 emissions, at 97 grams per kilometre, are 34 per cent less than the Subaru’s 147gkm.
The XV hybrid costs $35,580 plus on roads. The XV 2.0i-L petrol is $31,610. Both run on regular unleaded. So it will be many years before you recoup the hybrid’s $3970 premium via the pump.
Standard equipment is as per the 2.0i-L, which means it’s a long way from loaded. There’s no dual-zone aircon, no satnav, a small infotainment touchscreen and one lonely USB connector. You do, however, get a CD player.

COMFORT

Subaru strikes a sublime ride/handling compromise in the XV, and on our goat track country roads it’s the pick of the small SUVs. The ride, on lightly sprung, long travel, fully independent suspension, is beautifully smooth, quiet and supple in the manner of the best French cars.

You sit on rather than in the XV, facing a dated, fussy dash with uncoordinated control interfaces and screens. Fit, finish and materials quality is excellent.
There’s plenty of legroom in the back seat, though no vents or device connectivity. You get a bigger boot than the petrol XV because the battery takes up less space under the floor than the spare — which you don’t get in the hybrid.

SAFETY

XV hybrid’s Eyesight camera-based safety tech monitors what’s happening in front while radar and sonar keep watch to the rear.
Eyesight can be extremely sensitive. On test, a couple of cockatoos flew in front of the car and triggered the forward collision warning.
An inward facing infrared camera watches you as you drive and you’re scolded for your inattention if you take a longish look away from the straight ahead. It works sometimes.

DRIVING

The hybrid payoff is stronger mid-range pulling power than the anaemic petrol XV, though the CVT does take a moment or two to convert it into meaningful forward progress.
Under acceleration, there’s a mild turbo-style shove when the electric motor kicks in. That’s about the extent of its contribution though. The XV cruises on petrol, with the engine automatically put to sleep when coasting and restarted when you press the accelerator. Regenerative braking – minus the wooden pedal feel in most hybrids — also keeps the battery topped up.
XV isn’t a sporty drive but it’s arguably the best handling small SUV, in large part due to standard independent suspension and all-wheel drive. It’s inherently well-balanced, a characteristic enhanced by the hybrid’s lower centre of gravity. The suspension, though relatively soft, exercises measured control over body movement and provides exceptionally secure roadholding, while the steering is light and precise.
And with 220mm of ground clearance, plus X-mode low-speed traction control for loose surfaces, XV should have best-in-class dirt-road credentials. The absence of a spare wheel means it doesn’t.

HEART SAYS

I’m a paid up member of the Subaru cult and I’ve been waiting for a hybrid for ages. Now I won’t have to stoop to buying a Toyota.

HEAD SAYS

Subaru offers all-wheel drive, the boxer engine, great handling, A-grade safety and strong resale values. Now it’s got a hybrid option, too.

VERDICT 3/5

Subaru’s XV is a good thing, but the hybrid fails to deliver significant efficiency and economy benefits as the pay-off for its premium price.

ALTERNATIVE

Toyota C-HR Koba, from $36,440
Electricity does more of the heavy lifting in the Toyota, hence its much lower fuel consumption (4.3L/100km) and emissions (97gkm) than the Subaru. Front-wheel drive.
SUBARU XV HYBRID VITALS
Price: $35,580 plus on-roads
Warranty/servicing: 5 years/unl’td km; $2397 for 5 years
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid 4-cyl, 110kW/196Nm
Safety: Five stars, 7 airbags, AEB, adaptive cruise, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and braking
Thirst: 6.5L/100km
Spare: No spare, repair kit
Boot: 345L



SOURCE: OZI INDIAN TV CHANNEL.