Shimla, Aug 28: Apple growers in the state suffered huge losses during the three days of mayhem by Dera Sacha Sauda followers in Panchkula and other places in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi. The prices tumbled by Rs 500 per carton, as the fruit ripened in trucks that remained stranded on highways. The price of the top quality apple has dipped to Rs 1,900 from Rs 2,400 per carton in local markets.
With the Panchkula CBI court set to pronounce the quantum of punishment to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim tomorrow, farmers fear that transportation will remain hit for another few days due to the volatile law and order problem prevailing in Haryana, as the most of the trucks have to cross Haryana and Punjab towns.
The HRTC has resumed its bus service on all 200 routes in the region.Many farmers have stored the fruit in cold stores in HPMC-run cold stores in Parwanoo (8,000 cartons stored so far) to save it from perishing in trucks. Others waited for the Panchkula blockade to be lifted and had no option but to sell the fruit at throwaway prices in Parwanoo and Chandigarh markets.Besides, farmers and traders from local markets could not dispatch the second grade and third grade apple to eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the main mandis for the fruit, due to floods.
Private companies have lowered the prices of apple by Rs 10 per kg from Rs 85 to Rs 75 per kg for the top quality fruit. At some places today, the fruit was sold for as low as Rs 20 per kg, revealed farmers.Prakash Thakur, vice-chairman, HPMC, said farmers normally stored fruit in cold stores September onwards, but the Parwanoo store got a consignment of 8,000 cartons due to the Panchkula blockade in the last two days. “The prices are expected to go up when the situation normalises,” he added.
Source Tribune India