Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 2:
After yesterday’s ruckus and walkouts, normalcy returned to the Odisha Assembly on the second day of the winter session with members cutting across party lines engaging in heated debate over preservation/storage of farm produce in the state during the Question Hour.
Members from the Opposition benches drew attention of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy to the dearth of cold stores and other storage facilities in the state resulting in losses to the farmers.
Even members from the Treasury bench questioned the minister on the functioning of the ‘Potato Mission’ and demanded a clarification on the objectives of the mission and the infrastructure available for it.
In his reply Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy told the House that 22 cold stores have constructed in the state till date in the current year. He further said that 112 cold stores will be constructed in the next three years.
The Minister said in order to provide market facilities to farmers his department has planned for a ‘Odisha Haat’ in Bhubaneswar adding that it will be implemented following approval of the Chief Minister.
Further, during Question Hour members across party lines expressed concern over lack of godowns for preservation of paddy seeds and fertilizers in the state and drew attention to lack of coordination between the departments of Panchayati Raj, Cooperation and Food supplies & Consumer Welfare.
In his reply Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout told the House that it has been proposed to construct 3,400 godowns through different agencies for storage of paddy seeds and other items.
These warehouses will be constructed by Markfed, Odisha Ware Housing Corporation, PACS, RCMS etc, the Minister said while adding that a decision in this regard will be very soon taken at a joint meeting of the departments of Panchayati Raj and Cooperation. Construction of these warehouses will be completed within a period of three years, he said.