BHUBANESWAR: Potato crisis in the State is likely to be over by Monday with the West Bengal Government lifting restriction on inter-State movement of trucks carrying potato.
“The West Bengal Government has allowed movement of potato-laden trucks which were stranded on its side of Odisha-Bengal border for the last three days from 11 am on Saturday,” Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma told reporters after a meeting here.
The Minister said several trucks carrying potato have reached different destinations of the State. While six trucks have delivered potato at Malgodown, the main vegetable market of Cuttack, four truck loads of the tuber have reached Kuberapuri at Aiginia, the major potato ‘mandi’ of the Capital City.
Reports of potato-laden trucks from West Bengal reaching Angul, Berhampur, Puri and Sambalpur towns have been received. More trucks are on their way to other destinations of the State and the situation will be normal by Monday.
“The potato crisis that the State is facing for the last two days has come to an end,” the Minister said and appealed the people to desist from panic buying of the vegetable.
The West Bengal Government lifted the restriction on inter-State movement of vehicles carrying potato following telephonic discussion between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, Dasburma said.
Sources, however, said the Government of the neighbouring State was forced to lift the restriction on transportation of potato after retaliatory measures from Odisha side.
Activists of the ruling BJD and traders of Balasore district led by MLA Aswini Patra blocked the movement of West Bengal-bound trucks carrying fish, egg and vegetables from Andhra Pradesh on Friday in retaliation to the action of the West Bengal Government.
Dasburma who reviewed the crisis situation at a meeting here said potato booked through National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh will reach here on Wednesday. The State Government had requested NAFED to supply 3,000 tonnes of potato to meet the crisis.
Potato was selling at `28-30 a kg in the retail markets of the City and remained pricey across the State. Secretary of Aiginia Potato Merchant Association, Shakti Sampad Mishra, said three truckloads of potato have reached the ‘mandi’ and more trucks are on their way from West Bengal.