Shimla: Horticulture minister Narinder Bragta today presided over a high level meeting to review the arrangements for the forthcoming apple harvest season.
At the meet that was attended by deputy commissioners of Shimla, Kullu and Kinnaur, Bragta said that the government had sanctioned Rs 143.54 crore for maintenance of roads damaged due to heavy rains.
These funds would be utilized for maintaining link road so as to ensure better road connectivity during the apple harvest season, he said.
Showing concern about the fruit crop damaged by frequent hailstorms, the minister has asked the chief minister for getting it included under natural calamity with the central government.
He said that the national highway authority of the central government had not released funds for completing tarring of Kufri bye pass road which had proved to be bottle neck for movement of traffic on the national highway.
The state government had decided to undertake stone soling of the bye pass road on its own and the job would be completed with 15 days, said Bragta.
Besides government agencies HIMFED and HPMC, private entrepreneurs would also supply cartons and paper trays for packaging of apples.
For meeting the transportation requirements, about 5000 trucks would be needed and to regulate them a main control room would start functioning at Fagu from 15th July, said Bragta.
Those who attended the meeting included TG Negi, principal secretary who is holding additional charge of horticulture, Onkar Sharma, DC Shimla, BM Nanta, DC Kullu, Suneel Chaudhary, DC Kinnaur, Sonal Agnihotri, SP Shimla, RC Verma, Chief Engineer, PWD, National Highway, Mandi Zone, Gurdev Singh, Director Horticulture, and other senior officials.
Officials from HPMC and HIMFED also attended the meeting. The horticulture department has projected a production of over 2 crore boxes for the season.