Shimla: Horticulture department has claimed that about 1.85 crore apple boxes have been sent to various fruit markets in the country from Himachal Pradesh till date.
A spokesperson of the department said in a statement here today that the apple season is at its peak and all possible arrangements are being ensured by the government for proper and timely transportation of apple from various parts of the state. On the other hand PWD minister Gulab Singh Thakur informed that the hill state has suffered a massive loss of Rs 332 crore due to recent rains, which has damaged many key roads and bridges.
While presiding over the meeting of senior PWD officials, he said efforts are on to restore the damaged roads, especially in the apple-growing areas where the marketing of fruit is at its peak now. He said that the state government has released Rs 10 crore to the public works department to take up restoration work on war footing.
But the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association has expressed a deep concern on the bad plight of roads in the entire apple and vegetable belt of the state. Its president Sanjay Chauhan said transporters from outside the hill state were either refusing or taking double charges due to bad road conditions this year. “The government was not able to foresee the arrival of a huge crop as well as a healthy monsoon this year and could not make subsequent arrangements,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, the Himachal Kisan Sabha staged a big protest in the Shimla Fruit Mandi on Monday. The farmers later under their leader Dr Kuldip Tanwar gave a memorandum to the secretary, agriculture, Ram Subhag Singh. In an immediate acceptance of their demands, the officials agreed to fix an electronic weighing machine and to stop the age-old practice of weighing the agricultural produce on a manual machine.