Chandigarh, Apr 5 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed senior police officers in all districts to strictly enforce the ban on forming of transport cartels to ensure smooth procurement of wheat.

Reviewing the procurement arrangements, the chief minister directed the DGP to take stern action against anyone found trying to disrupt the procurement process, warning that nobody would be allowed to obstruct transport movement during the procurement and lifting operations.

Reiterating his directions to the Deputy Commissioners to extend their support to the transporters engaged by the state government for the transportation of wheat, the chief minister asked them to keep a close vigil on the movement of all vehicles hired for the purpose of procuring the foodgrains.

An official spokesperson said after the meeting that Singh also asked the Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies to take all possible steps to ensure smooth and hassle-free procurement operations.

He directed the civil and police administration to monitor the progress of procurement of wheat on a daily basis to ensure the completion of the task within the stipulated time-frame.

The chief minister said that every single grain of the farmers’ produce would be procured and the payments would be made in a timely manner, as had been done in the last Rabi and Paddy seasons since his government took over.

The meeting was attended by Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Suresh Kumar, DGP Suresh Arora, Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies KAP Sinha and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Tejveer Singh.

The truck operators under the banner of All Punjab Truck Operators’ Union had boycotted the tender process for the transportation of the wheat crop.

They had been at the loggerheads with the state government for offering “lower” rates for transportation of crop from ‘mandis’ to godowns.

In view of boycott by truckers, the state government gave permission to commission agents, better known as ‘Arthiyas’, for transportation of wheat for the smooth purchase of the foodgrains.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.