Strike at Shimla fruit auction yard as apple volumes swell

Shimla: Limited space at Shimla agriculture produce marketing yard coupled with bad road, jammed marketing operations of fruits for half a day while the volume has increased sustainably reducing the whole exercise to chaos.

“A lightening strike at the Shimla fruit auction yard by the traders at Bhatta Kuffar stalled all marketing operations for about five hours,” said Ashok Sharma , a fruit trader at the market.

He added that space constraints for unloading, storing, auctioning and re-loading of packaged apple boxes was adding to the problem as volumes were increasing on a daily basis.

Talking about the traders strike at the Shimla market, RM Sharma, superintendent police said that miscreants had smashed the windscreens of some vehicles, which provoked the situation.

“We have taken too people into custody for the incident and have increased patrolling in the area to contain law and order situations as well as control traffic flow,” he said.

After intervention of the marketing officials, the strike was called off at about 4 p.m., resuming the auction, loading and unloading process.

Faced with difficulties in accessing the local market, Surinder Chauhan, an orchard owner said that road conditions were in bad shape.

As road blocks in rural area opened up there is a sudden rush to hit the market which is leading to jams along the supply chain as well as the auction yards, he said.

HR Sharma, managing director HP State Agriculture Marketing Board said that as harvest operations were picking up, the daily sale of apples boxes was estimated at between 25 to 35 thousand boxes.

He said that besides Shimla there was heavy fruit arrival at Narkanda and Rohru auction yards. Buyers had spread into the hinterland and were making farm gate purchases directly, he added.

“So far only about 10 percent of the crop had been harvested and there was a bumper crop out there still needed to be unloaded from the trees in the orchards at higher altitudes,” said Sharma.

Elsewhere horticulture minister Narinder Bragta at a press briefing disclosed that should the Azadpur Market at Delhi not fall in line with the Delhi High Court decree of not levying commissions from the seller, the state government would file a contempt petition after the two week period granted by the court for implementing its order is violated.

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