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Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday directed the State Procurement Agencies to ensure resumption of Mandi operations within hours of stoppage of rain in various parts of state.

Disclosing this today, a spokesperson of the Punjab Government said that the Chief Minister laid emphasis on the welfare of the farmer and directed the officials to ensure that farmers are not put to inconvenience as a result of inclement weather.

It may be noted that light rain accompanied by strong winds have lashed many parts of the state leading to the possibility of temporary disruption in Mandi operations tomorrow.

Meanwhile, acting on the directions of the Chief Minister, senior officials of the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, Mandi Board, MARKFED, PUNSUP, FCI and Punjab State Warehousing Corporation met late in the evening today to chalk out a detailed plan to tackle the situation arising out of the adverse weather conditions existing in most parts of the state.

The spokesperson disclosed that, following detailed discussions amongst the officials, a detailed action plan has been chalked out and the Mandi Board has been asked to deploy all available resources in the State to make sure that any stagnant water is pumped out of the Mandi Yard within hours of stoppage of rain. The Mandi Board has also been asked to direct the Market Committees to deploy unlimited manpower and pumping sets to tackle the problem on a war footing, he said. Pumping sets available with the Municipal Corporations and the Municipal Committees have also be asked to be kept on standby to assist in these operations and the State Procurement Agencies were asked to ensure that their officials visit the Mandis in the morning and personally meet the farmers and assure them of early resumption of purchase, he added.

Regarding protection of the stocks lying in the Mandis, the spokesperson said that the stocks have been covered with Tarpaulins and Deputy Commissioners have also been asked to direct the sector officers to physically check and ensure that all the produce lying in the Mandis is properly covered and protected from rain and dusty winds.