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Bad roads in Himachal Pradesh causing transportation worries for apple growers

By Devaki

Narkanda (HP), July 19 (ANI): Apple orchard owners and transporters in Himachal Pradesh have reportedly lodged a formal complaint with the state government about the poor condition of roads.

They claim that the poor quality of roads could affect the transportation of the early varieties of apples to the plains.

They said the state's highway number one and National Highway-22, which run along the India-Tibet border and pass through the state capital Shimla, are in terrible condition.

"A meeting of all the aligned departments was conducted under the chairmanship of honourable Horticulture Minister, two months back. From then onwards we are monitoring the condition of the roads and the PWD," claimed J S Rana, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla.

Most drivers complained about the poor upkeep of link roads as also national and state highways.

"The roads are in pretty bad shape. How will we take our apples to the market? These roads were built in the '60s, and now they are in such terrible state. We face losses while driving on such roads. Even apple growers face problems while transporting their lot," said Bittu, a driver.

Apple is Himachal Pradesh's main fruit crop and is grown in nine out of the state's 12 districts.

The apple crop area has increased to 97,438 hectares in 2008-09 from 400 hectares in 1950-51.

Currently, the country's apple industry is worth 15 billion Rupees. (ANI)

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