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Avian flu deals severe blow to trucking business

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) Over 70 per cent of the 1.7 lakh light and heavy trucks engaged in transporting poultry products all over the country have come to a grinding halt in the wake of the avian flu scare, resulting in a loss of Rs 150-200 crore to truck owners since the outbreak of the disease in Maharashtra's Navapura area on Saturday.

Pegged at Rs 50,000 crore, the poultry and hatchery business had come to a virtual standstill during the last four days with the news that avian flu had spread among chickens in Navapura area, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), a leading transport reseacrch body, said here today.

''Many state governments have issued advisories to curb import of chicken and eggs from the poultry-producing states in the country.

Already more than 1.2 million chickens have been culled in Nandurbar and neighbouring poultry farms in Gujarat,'' said the IFTRT, which carried out a survey to examine the impact of bird flu on the operations of trucking business dedicated to poultry and hatchery trade.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat have large-scale commercial poultry and hatchery production farms, accounting for 75 per cent of the total production of chickens and eggs in the country.

Besides Kerala and Karnataka, states like West Bengal and Assam import their requirement from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Maharashtra and Gujarat are the main supply centres to the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. In the North, Punjab and Haryana mainly cater to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, Rajasthan and parts of Madhya Pradesh.

Pointing out that the wholesale and retail trade of chicken and eggs was entirely carried out by commercial road transport in the country, IFTRT said 1.2 lakh light trucks, with a load capacity ranging from 7.5 tonne to 10 tonne gross load capacity, mainly ferry chicken birds in specially designed cargo body with cages mounted on them to provide ventilation to the birds.


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