Landslides hit transportation of apple crop in Himachal Pradesh

August 18th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 18 (IANS) Apple growers, particularly in the Shimla district, are up in arms against the Himachal Pradesh government for its failure to clear landslides on various highways during the past few days, resulting in financial losses to them.”Hundreds of apple-laden trucks are standing in the upper Shimla area as numerous landslides blocked almost all major roads,” Ram Negi, a fruit grower, told IANS Monday.

He said Rohru, Chopal and Narkanda were some of the worst affected areas.

“Ripe fruit will start rotting unless immediate arrangements are made for its transportation to markets outside the state,” Mukul Khemta, another apple grower from Chopal area, said.

Meanwhile, horticulture minister Narender Bragta said that “the government machinery is working overtime to restore the movement of trucks”.

He said more than 80 JCB machines had been pressed into service to clear the roads in Shimla district alone.

He said that so far about six million apple boxes had been sent out of the hill state.

The state horticulture department has estimated that this season the total yield could be up to 25 million boxes.

The best quality apples in the country from the Chango, Ribba and Namgiya valleys of Kinnaur and Hurling in the Spiti subdivision are yet to reach the markets.

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