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Asia 14/12/2023

India: State pushes for increase in height of potato storage godowns

Kolkata: The state Agricultural Marketing department is pushing for an increase in the height of its storage facilities for potatoes with bumper yield in North Bengal in the recent past.

The entrepreneurs who have already started construction of some storage facilities have been pressing the state government to allow the height of such godowns upto 58 feet to match the steep rise in potato production.

As per the amended National Building Act 2017, the height of a godown for storage should not exceed 49 feet.

“The number of storage facilities in North Bengal is inadequate considering the steep rise in potato cultivation there. The entrepreneurs have reasoned that if they are allowed to take up construction of godowns upto 58 feet height, it will be beneficial for the farmers as they will be able to store more and at the same time the entrepreneurs will be able to earn more as rent from the farmers. We are examining all possibilities so that the storage requirement can be met as soon as possible,” state Agricultural Marketing minister Becharam Manna said.

Manna along with his Additional Chief Secretary Anil Verma and other senior officials of his department held a meeting with senior officials of the state Fire and Emergency Services department led by minister Suijt Bose, his department’s Additional Chief Secretary Manoj Agarwal recently in Bose’s chamber at the state Legislative Assembly where the issue was discussed at length. “There are some complexities associated with the change of height as the act is a central act. We need to bring amendments in the Fire Services Act to make this effective. In the meeting, we arrived at a consensus that the opinion of the state Chief Secretary will be sought on how this can be made effective,” a senior official of the Agricultural Marketing department said. 

Work for construction of 13 storage facilities has already started and the state wants the elevated height of the godown to be effective with the lifting of new potatoes in February next year. This year, a good number of farmers of North Bengal were compelled to sell potatoes at a very low price due to lack of storage facilities. There have been instances of potato farmers resorting to road blockade demanding just and equitable prices for their produce. There are 73 godowns for potato storage across the state of which 71 are functional.


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