Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 8:
Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma today said that the West Bengal government is showing a monopolistic attitude by putting restrictions on transportation of potato to Odisha.
“The West Bengal government is monopolising transportation of potato to Odisha. Due to the restrictions put bu it, about 150 potato laden trucks have been stuck at a check gate on the West Bengal-Odisha border. However, we have asked NAFED to provide potato to meet the demand of consumers,” Dasburma told reporters here.
The minister informed that the Development Commissioner is in touch with officials in the the neighbouring state to resolve the impasse soon.
Following the crisis in potato supply and the resultant increase in its price, the government has decided to provide potato to people at the rate of Rs 20 a kg through PDS outlets.
“We have about 30,000 quintals of potato at different cold storages in the state. The government has decided to supply potato to people at the rate of Rs 20 per kg through 55 PDS outlets from today,” said department secretary Madhusudan Padhi.
Padhi, however, said there was no restriction on the movement of trucks carrying other vegetables from West Bengal. He said though the neighbouring state was yet to lift the restrictions on the potato truck movement, 10 lorries could carry potatoes to Bhubaneswar last night.
The 10 trucks carried 160 tons of potatoes to the state capital last night, Padhi said adding that steps are being taken to ensure that no one sells potato at higher rate.
Meanwhile, activists of the ruling BJD blocked West Bengal-bound trucks from Andhra Pradesh in the bordering area of Jaleswar in Balasore district.