Fight over potatoes escalates between West Bengal, Odisha
Zee Media Bureau
Kolkata: West Bengal and Odisha are at loggerheads over the issue of supply of potatoes and the matter seems to be only worsening by the day.
Recently, activists in Odisha blocked trucks containing fish and eggs from Andhra Pradesh which was headed for Bengal. This was in protest of Mamata Banerjee`s ban on exporting potatoes, a staple diet for majority of Indians, from West Bengal to Odisha.
The trucks headed for Bengal was stopped for hours by Jaleshwar Vikas Manch in Odisha, it was reported. Mamata had categorically said last week that she would not allow potatoes to go outside her state till the situation was stable in Bengal and it would be only be allowed to go outside if there was a surplus.
Following her diktat, the West Bengal administration stopped many trucks laden with potato from going outside the state. West Bengal is said to be the largest supplier of potatoes to Odisha. As per some estimates, it sends 350 to 400 truckloads daily to the state.
After the decision by Mamata, black marketing and hoarding is reported to have become rampant in Odisha and prices are said to have touched Rs 45 a kg. However, after the matter got out of hands, the chief secretaries of the two states have started talks. It is being reported that trucks going to Bengal have been allowed to go but trucks with potato trucks are still to leave Bengal.
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