Flower farmers in Kuppam Assembly constituency are in despair as trains between Chennai and Bangalore has been running late since past one week due to conversion of regular trains into special ones and track repairs at various junctions. It has lead to the rejection of flower consignments to the tune of over 15 tonnes a day running into lakhs of rupees.
The farmers in Kuppam area are dependent on express trains bound towards Bangalore and Chennai to transport flower bags as there are no direct buses to these major cities from Kuppam. Sending flowers in trucks to neighbouring States has reduced considerably due to spiralling transport costs forcing the farmers to depend on trains. Moreover, the farmers, to avoid being exploited by the local traders, have been engaging directly in business these days.
During the last couple of weeks, the express trains in which the farmers transport flowers ran two to three hours behind the schedule. The Seshadri Express originating at Kakinada has been reaching Kuppam two to three hours late as against the scheduled time of 10.04 hours. The Brindavan Express and Lalbagh Express on the sector are also running late, causing misery to the farmers.
The farmers say that their stock including varieties of Chamanthi, Karabanthi, rose and jasmine should reach the KR Flower Market in Bangalore by 1.30 p.m. Same is the case with Chennai market. Late arrival of stocks at the markets has been causing heavy loss to farmers as there are less or no buyers for flowers after 1.30 p.m. As the situation hasn’t changed even after a week, the farmers have left their flower gardens uncut. They say that their hopes of getting huge profits were dashed.