Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Jaleswar, Aug 8:
Hours after the blockade of all West Bengal bound trucks from Andhra Pradesh by the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers in the bordering area of Jaleswar in Baleswar district, the West Bengal government has released 18 truckloads of potato to Odisha this morning.
Briefing newsmen in Bhubaneswar, secretary, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Madhusudan Padhi said besides 18 truckloads of potato, the West Bengal government has agreed to transport more potato to Odisha following official level talks between both the governments.
“While 30,000 quintals of potato are in stock at several godowns in Bhubaneswar at present, there would be no more shortage of potato in the state as the West Bengal government has agreed to send more potato to Odisha”, he added.
Padhi also said the state government has made arrangement for sale of potato in the government run Maitree agencies where it is sold at Rs 20 per kg.
Meanwhile, reports from Jaleswar said hundreds of potato laden trucks have been detained by the West Bengal government at Laxmannath inter state border check gate while over thousands of trucks carrying fish, eggs and vegetables from Andhra Pradesh have been detained at the check gate by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers.
“Unless the West Bengal government permits transport of potato to Odisha, we would not release these trucks,” said BJD MLA of Jaleswar Aswini Patro to reporters here today.
He said similar incidents had taken place last year when the West Bengal government had denied transportation of potato to Odisha.
“As a result, we had adopted tit-for-tat policy by detaining all West Bengal bound trucks from Andhra Pradesh that subsequently worked in our favour as the West Bengal government was forced to transport potato to our state”, Patra pointed out.
He, however, hoped that the situation would be normal very soon as the West Bengal government has already released 18 truckloads of potato with even more later in the day.