Why Himachal apple growers are really pissed off – In Pictures
SHIMLA- Apple growers today decided to take out a march from Hatkoti to Rohru and lodge their protest.
They said the condition of the 90-km Rohru-Hatkoti-Theog road had worsened as the CC construction company and the state Public Works Department (PWD) had shown no signs of progress even after a year.Led by Himalayan Apple Growers’ Society (HAGS), farmers would march from Hatkoti to Rohru and lodge their protest on April 17.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by HAGS chairman Rajeev Chauhan in Hatkoti. The society would also urge other traders, organisations, transport unions and public at large to join the protest, Chauhan said.
All members present at the meeting expressed their anger and anguish at the deplorable condition of the Theog-Hatkoti-Rohroo road.
“It seems rather impossible to complete this road by June 2016, as being targeted by the contractor. The members questioned the credentials and motives of the company,” said Vineet Sarjolta, secretary, HAGS.
Farmers said if the condition of the road remained the same, it would be impossible to market apples this year.
“You cannot travel on the Jubbal-Paraunthi-Kharapthar-Pattidhank-Kotkhai stretch as the road is full of potholes giving bumpy rides to commuters,” society members said.
The farmers’ protest came hot on the heels of the satyagrah protest launched by former horticulture minister and BJP vice-president Narender Bragta on November 14 last year, which had kicked up a political storm.
Various apple growers’ bodies had joined the march and the High Court was monitoring the progress of the road.
Sarjolta said HAGS had joined the International Agri Food Network (IAFN), which was a big milestone for the society. “We are looking forward to work with IAFN, WFO and other International Farmer Organisations to improve the apple industry in the state,” he said.
HAGS appointed its new committee of office-bearers unanimously with Rajeev Chauhan as its chairman, Rajinder Chhajta vice-chairman and Balwant Justa president.