Cold storage units should notify daily vacancy position, says Collector

District administration enters into a MoU with all the cold storage units

GUNTUR: The District Administration is bracing itself for a show down with the powerful lobby of cold storage managements.

With the Cold Storage Management Association filing a petition in the High Court seeking restrain on orders of the Collector to remit excess charges collected from the farmers, the district administration is bracing for a legal battle.

There are 71 cold storage units in the district with a combined storage capacity of 54,80,857 chilli tikkies (chilli bag weighing 45 k.g).

In the aftermath of Chilli Yard fire mishap in May 2008, the district administration passed orders to collect Rs.90 per tikki, but the cold storage units had flouted the orders and started collecting Rs.120 per tikki. The Collector then issued notices to pay Rs.3.93 crore to farmers, which has been calculated as excessive amount collected from June 2008 to March 2010.

“We will file an affidavit in the High Court tomorrow justifying the order to recover dues from the cold storage units. The cold storages have been given subsidies from the Government and cannot take the farmers for a ride, '' Mr. Ramanjaneyulu told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Following the instructions of the Collector, Deputy Director, Marketing and A.D, Horticulture left for Hyderabad on Tuesday night to submit the affidavit in the High Court.

The Collector had earlier taken on the powerful cold storage managements and arm-twisted them to agree for levying Rs.95 per bag for two seasons beginning from 2010 and ending till 2012. The season charges include charges for lifting the bags by hamalis and insurance charges. The peak season for storing of chilli produce has begun in February and would continue till the end of March.

The Collector also directed that the cold storage units should notify daily vacancy position and the details should be sent to Agricultural Marketing Committee, Guntur. The district administration entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with all the cold storage units in agreeing for the revised conditions.