Strike by Odisha cold storages enters second day

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Cold Storage Association’s strike entered its second day today and the association has decided to launch an indefinite stir alleging that their issues have not been resolved by the State government. The association has been demanding financial assistance and subsidy from the government for revival of cold storages.

According to sources, the strike by cold storages in the State might lead to a steep hike in prices of essential commodities. The association alleged that the cold storages have been suffering losses due to the failure of the Potato Mission in the State.

The association members further said that cold storage owners are facing annual losses in crores due to low capacity utilisation. With repeated requests for government assistance falling on deaf ears, we are forced to launch agitation, they said.

Subhendu Kumar Sahoo of Raja Cold Storage in Balasore said “As the Potato Mission has failed; the government should have prepared contingency plans for space utilisation at cold storages. The government should either purchase potatoes, store it with us and pay us rent or pay us money to buy potatoes and store it in cold storages.”

Nirmal Chandra Routray of Bharat Cold Storage in Rourkela said “There is no production of potatoes in the district. We have to bring potatoes from West Bengal which is adding to the cost. We are demanding subsidy in electricity and relaxation in term loans.”

No comments were available from government officials in this regard.