Veggie, milk prices cool off in Pune as farmers’ Monday bandh finds few takers

Supply of fruits, vegetables and milk improve in the city as police provide security to trucks and vans carrying goods.

pune Updated: Jun 05, 2017 22:00 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
Farmers' strike,Devendra Fadnavis,Loan
Protesting farmers in Rahata of Ahmednagar district offer milk ‘abhishek’ to a stone named after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.(HT PHOTO)

The statewide bandh call by farmer unions on Monday pressing for their demands for loan waivers and minimum support price evoked poor response in Pune. The police detained 50 people who staged a rasta roko at Balgandharva Square on Jungli Maharaj Road.

The protest despite the loan waiver announcement by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis only partially affected the supply of vegetables and fruits in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and other cities in western Maharashtra. While the business was normal in cities, the rural parts were largely affected by the bandh.

In Pune, 339 vehicles carrying fruits and vegetables arrived in the morning, bringing down the prices of commodity by 20%, said officials of Agriculture Produce Market Committee. The rates started dropping to normal levels since Sunday when the inflow of vegetables and fruits at Market Yard went up by 81% with over 900 vehicles arriving in the day.

“The supply of fruits and vegetables has remarkably improved over the last two days. While the prices of vegetables are still above normal, it has come down compared to three days back,” said Vilas Bhujbal, wholesale vegetable trader. In other big cities of western Maharashtra, the vegetable supply was better than the past three days, said local traders.

Milk supply to the city also improved by 30% compared to June 3 when farmers launched their strike to press for their demands like loan waiver and free electricity. According to Katraj dairy officials, trucks and vans of milk suppliers arrived at their centres on Sunday after police provided them security following the violence in Junnar and Satara where protestors vandalised milk tankers. The Pune police have so far arrested 58 protestors for violence.

The effect of bandh call was visible in Nashik, Kolhapur and Ahmednagar districts with farmer groups stopping vegetable traders from carrying out their business in the morning hours. In Ahmednagar’s Rahuri, protestors burnt a tanker carrying milk late on Sunday. The farmers held a rasta roko at Pune-Bengaluru highway, paralysing the traffic near Kolhapur.

Monday’s bandh was called by farmers’ committees from Nashik, Ahmednagar and Sangli as the CM’s assurance failed to satisfy them. Fadnavis on Saturday held talks with one faction of farmers and accepted 70% of their demands. The government’s assurance however created schism among the protestors as farmers from Puntamba immediately called off their strike but other factions expressed unhappiness over the way chief minister held talks in what they claimed in “hurried manner”.

After chief minister’s announcement, farmers’ outfits, including Kisan Kranti Morcha, Shetkari Sanghatana, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and political parties such as Shiv Sena, NCP had extended their support to Monday bandh. The development led to shift of main centre of protest from Puntamba in Ahmednagar to Nashik, where farmer outfits had held meeting on Sunday and decided to make the bandh successful.


First Published: Jun 05, 2017 12:33 IST