Cold storage owners issue ultimatum to Odisha government

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Cold Storage Association has decided to intensify their on-going agitation protesting the callous attitude of the Odisha government towards the plight of cold storage owners. Alleging that the government is yet to fulfil their 8 point-charter of demands for revival of cold storages, the association members today threatened to stage a demonstration at lower PMG in Bhubaneswar if their demands are not met within two days.

It is pertinent to mention here that cold storage owners have shut down their operations since February 22.

“The Odisha government is yet to pay any heed to our demands. We have decided to stage a dharna at lower PMG if no action is taken by the state government within two days,” said Odisha Cold Storage Association vice-president, Suresh Sahu.

Sahu alleged that the cold storages are now almost defunct owing to the failure of the Potato Mission in Odisha. “The operators are incurring huge losses and if the State government fails to resolve our issues, we will be forced to end our lives,” he added.

The cold storage association is also demanding subsidy of 50 per cent on electricity dues, rebate on interest on bank loans taken by the operators to set up their units and alternative measures for the revival of the cold storages.

The operators alleged that they were lured to set up cold storages following the announcement of ambitious State Potato Mission. But due to insufficient potato production, all the cold storages are lying defunct.