Nepalis workers working in orchards in Shimla. (File Photo)
SHIMLA: Orchardists based in Shimla of Himachal Province of India are worried due to shortage of labors as many Nepalis who work in orchards could not reach Shimla on time due to lockdown.
Citing the crisis of Nepali workers, Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday asked the Himachal Pradesh government to take concrete steps to bring Nepalis labor on time for the apple season by discussing it with the Center.
CPI (M) leader Sanjay Chauhan said orchardists are worried due to shortage of labor. “If labor is not arranged on time then it will become difficult for orchardists to take their produce to fruit markets thereby causing huge losses,” he said.
He said,” Most apple orchards are away from roads therefore labor have to carry apple boxes on their backs.
Labor is also required to load and unload apple boxes from the vehicle. Due to Covid-19 and other issues with Nepal, labor have not been able to come to the state this year.
Till now, the state government has also not taken any concrete step in this direction.”
He said the apple season has started in the state and will pick up pace in lower and middle hills within the next two weeks but due to the pandemic, there is a shortage of laborers, packaging materials and other essential resources.
Besides, truck owners and other commercial vehicles have also hiked transportation charges by 20% due to hike in prices of petrol and diesel.
Also, around 65% fruit crop has been destroyed by untimely rainfall and hailstorms which has resulted in losses, he added.
(with inputs from Hindustan Times)