Odisha keeps watch on potato traders stir in WB: Minister

Bhubaneswar, Aug 11: With tuber crisis continuing in the state, Odisha government today said it was keeping a close watch on the Potato traders agitation in the neighbouring West Bengal.

"The potato traders in West Bengal are on agitation protesting their government's restriction on the transportation of tuber to others states including Odisha. The businessmen in Bengal are suffering huge loss due to the TMC government's decision," Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma told reporters after a high level meeting here.

The potato crisis continues in the state as the West Bengal government reimposed the restriction on Sunday on the transportation of tuber after a relaxation for two days.

As the Odisha market faces acute shortage of potato, the state government would hold another meeting in the evening before taking any final decision in this regard, the minister said while criticising the undeclared curbs imposed by the West Bengal government on the transport of potatoes to the state.

While announcing that government’s market intervention would continue till the crisis eases, the minister said the government will continue to sell the essentials through PDS and Maitree stores in the state. Claiming that the potato price was stable in the market, the minister said the state at present have buffer stock of 86.8 tons of tuber at different cold storages.

While 32 tonnes of potato were in Bhubaneswar, 34.8 tonnes had been stored in Cuttack and 20 tonnes in Balasore district, he said. "We have information regarding stoppage of a large number of trucks at the other side of the state's border," said Balasore district collector Aravind Agarwal.

Meanwhile, the minister said the people will get potato at reasonable price after the consignment from NAFED reaches Odisha possibly by tomorrow. Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy, however, blamed it on the lack of adequate cold storages in the state for the ongoing crisis.


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