Toll booth may push veg prices up

80 percent of fruits and vegetables to Bangalore come from areas near Devanahalli

The toll booth, which renders flying out of Bangalore expensive, also implies soaring prices of vegetables and fruits. With food inflation hovering above 10 per cent for the past year or so, the new toll charge will cause consumers see red.

Bangalore receives a huge quantity of vegetables and fruits from farms located in areas beyond the proposed toll booth such as Devanahalli, Vijayapura, and Chikkaballapur .

According to one estimate, nearly 80 per cent of vegetables the City receives comes from these farms. For instance, Devanahalli supplies tomatoes, potatoes and onions to Bangalore. Devanahlli’s horticultural farms are also known to supply fruits such as grapes, bananas, and mulberries to the capital.

Public meeting

Concerned by the impact that the toll booth may have on farmers, Devanahalli MLA Venkataswamy has decided to convene a meeting of local people to discuss the issue.
“I will be visiting various taluks from Wednesday to get inputs from people. After that we will meet National Highway Authority of India officials and request them to shift the booth beyond Devanahalli”, he said.

Venkataswamy added that he was taken aback when he saw the toll booth. “This move will cause problems for airport passengers as a traffic jam is inevitable near the booth”, he said.

He also pointed that the move would hit hard a large number of truckers hailing from Devanahalli, who make a living by transporting sand, bricks, and debris to Bangalore.

The toll booth comes just months after farmers’ fight against the acquisition of agricultural land for the Information Technology Investment Region project at Devanahalli. Shivanapur Ramesh, a farmer from Devanahalli, said that farmers were finding it increasingly unviable to carry on their profession.

A winner of M H Marigowda State award in 2004, Ramesh apprehended that if the present scenario was allowed to progress the farmers would soon find it more profitable to take up small jobs in the City. “Bangalore will have to source its fruits and vegetables from more distant areas, which will push the prices further,” he cautioned.

Comments (+)