Darjeeling (West Bengal) [India], December 4 (ANI): Orange traders of the biggest regulated market, in West Bengal's Siliguri, are bearing huge losses due to the lack of production of the seasonal fruit.
The sale of the region's famous 'Darjeeling oranges', well known for their taste and smell, earns crores of rupees as revenue to North Bengal from November to January.
Every year traders from across the country gather at North Bengal's biggest wholesale regulated market, situated in Siliguri here in the district, to collect Darjeeling oranges.
Over the last couple of years though things have not been positive. The production level of oranges in Darjeeling, Kerseong and Kalimpong has plunged. According to the traders in Siliguri, it has gone down to 30 per cent.
The orange traders claim that due to the non-cooperation of the government, the orange production level has plummeted.
Binod Rastogi, an orange trader from the regulated market in Siliguri said, "The orange market is now almost finished.
"Earlier during the month of November and December, orange production used to be in huge quantity. But now has reduced to around 30 per cent in the same period.
"It is happening due to global warming and as trees are not getting proper care. If it goes on like this, the fruits will disappear."
"The government should immediately intervene and cap the crisis. Lakhs of people are related directly or indirectly to the trade and lots of livelihood are at stake," he added.
Pradir Prasad, another trader from the same market said, "We used to trade with a huge quantity of fruits, loaded at least 20 trucks, but now it has come down to 3-4 small carrying vehicles".
Chitra Chhetri, a grower from Bijanbari, Darjeeling at the regulated market said, "We are not getting any assistance from the government. We are trying to maintain orange trees in our garden, but due to the non-availability of organic fertilizers, we have become helpless." (ANI)