While excess production and less than expected price offered are troubling farmers, wholesale traders of vegetables and fruits from Azadpur mandi, who are awaiting exports to Pakistan, have claimed harassment from the officials at Wagah border.
Azadpur mandi, possibly the largest in north India, deals with fruits and vegetables brought in by farmers and traders from all across the country. Several traders from the mandi and other parts of India regularly send truckloads of agriculture products to Wagah border.
However, for last few days, the border has witnessed long queues of trucks and delay and harassment of traders. "The officials at the border are giving priority to non-perishable items such as soya and black pepper. Custom agents are demanding Rs 25,000 per truck bribe for ensuring that our trucks cross the border,” Anil Malhotra, member committee of the Azadpur mandi. Echoed Rajinder Sharma of Tomato and Onion Merchants Association, Delhi, "There is only one gate at Wagah, so Pakistan officials push their own trucks into India first. Traders have been demanding more gates at Wagah.”
With trucks being held up for more than a week, the vegetable perish leading to major loss to traders and more to farmers as they do not get a good price.