Potato Crisis Persists: Bengal Unmoved,Odisha Hopeful

Published: 13th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2014 04:36 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: With potato crisis continuing to pinch consumers, State Government on Tuesday said 80 trucks carrying the tuber crossed over to the State from neighbouring West Bengal.

“About 80 potato trucks have reached the State since last night. The potato traders in West Bengal have criticised their Government’s undeclared restriction on the transportation of potato to other States,”  Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma told reporters here.

“We have been putting pressure on the West Bengal Government to withdraw its undeclared restriction on the potato transportation,” Dasburma said.

The Minister said State Government had also been trying its best to normalise the situation. The trucks entered into Odisha through Jamsola check gate as the West Bengal police had been guarding the check gate at Laxmannath area bordering Balasore.

“It is high time the State Government should take up the matter with the Centre and the ruling BJD should raise it in the Parliament,” said general secretary of Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangha Sudhakar Panda.

After failure of talks at Chief Minister level, the State Government is left with no option but to seek Centre’s  intervention for a permanent solution to the recurring problem, he said.

Dasburma said the potato traders in West Bengal too have become restive and are protesting their Government’s undeclared restriction on the transportation of potato to other States.

Meanwhile, the State Government has lifted buffer stocks of potato in different cold storages and sent those to the districts. About 22 truckloads of potato have reached Bhubaneswar where the wholesale price of the vegetable is `2,200 per quintal.

The State had been reeling under potato shortage since August 6 due to sudden restriction imposed by West Bengal Government.

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