The shortage of wooden crates has adversely affected the lifting of wheat crop in Fatehgarh Sahib district.
The situation is getting from bad to worse with more than 400 trucks loaded with wheat lined up for the past five days outside the open storage complex hired by state procurement agencies Markfed and Punsup in Bhatmajra village on the Sirhind-Rajpura road.
Markfed and Punsup have hired an open space in Mangat Rice Mill in the village to make additional arrangements for stocking up wheat in view of a bumper crop.
Many truck drivers said they had been waiting to deliver the wheat procured from various grain markets of the district for the past five days due to shortage of wooden crates, which had severely affected reloading.
Packed in bags after being lifted from mandis, wheat is kept in stores in wooden crates to protect it from ground moisture.
Interestingly, the state procurement agencies managing the storage process claimed that there was no shortage of wooden crates and the agencies were getting enough crates from the manufacturers hired by the state government through the tender process.
"We can't say there is shortage of wooden crates. Since we have witnessed a bumper crop this season, the delivery of crates could take some time. Otherwise, everything is running smoothly," said Markfed district manager Darshan Kumar.
The delay in delivering the crop has hit the procurement of wheat in grain markets. If the situation persists for long, grain markets will be choked for space.
The crates are being manufactured by various firms in Jaito, Kapurthala and Jakhal, which deliver them to the procurement agencies as per the demand.
Deputy commissioner Yashvir Mahajan said he was not aware of any such problem, but would enquire about it from agencies officials.