Himachal apple farmers facing transportation problem

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Kotkhai (Himachal Pradesh), Sep 23(ANI): Hundreds of apple farmers are facing trouble in Himachal Pradesh, as their produce is not able to reach markets on time due to bad road conditions in Kotkhai subdivision of Shimla.

The cultivators complain that potholes on the roads and landslips are not taken care due to which the apple-loaded trucks get stuck in long jams.

They further said that sometimes the trucks, instead of reaching in a day, take almost three days to reach the markets in Delhi and other cities, which damage the fruit.

"At present the rate is Rs. 1400 per box. After three days, if the market goes down, the rates would slide to Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1200 per box. So, we can incur losses of about Rs. 300 to Rs. 400 per box, as due to bad roads it won't reach on time," said Sanjay Chauhan, an apple grower.

The apple growers also complained that the State Government was not taking any action to help the cause.

"There are 6 to 7 hours of traffic jams almost everyday. The Public Works Department (PWD) or any other department is not doing anything to help us. Even the government is not doing anything because of this the apple growers are finding it difficult to send their produce to the markets," said Gopal Rathore, apple grower.

Meanwhile, P.C. Kapoor, Secretary of PWD, has ensured that necessary steps are being taken, and said that damaged roads are being repaired in a phased manner.

"We understand that that it is the apple season and the produce has to reach the market. The department has started working on it. And the roads are open. There is also a plan in the pipeline for the maintenance of the roads, we will repair all the damaged roads in a phased manner," said P.C. Kapoor.

Himachal Pradesh is also known as the 'Apple Bowl of India', as on an annual average it produces 5,50,000 metric tons of apples. (ANI)

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