Row over adulteration of black pepper echoes in ZP

The row over adulteration of black pepper in Gonikoppa Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) echoed in the zilla panchayat meeting on Tuesday.

The ruling and opposition members levelled allegations against each other. Though zilla panchayat president B A Harish tried to pacify the protesters, the members continued their tirade against the APMC. Member Bananda N Prathyu demanded the ZP to pass a resolution to hand over the case to the CID to probe. When the meeting was adjourned for 10 minutes, the Congress members staged a protest.

Members K P Chandrakala, Shivu Madappa, Lathif, Kumuda Dharmappa, Sunitha, Pankaja, Srija Saji shouted slogans against the import policy of the Centre.

Raising the issue, Bananda Prathyu, Shivu Madappa said there is a need to oppose importing of black pepper from Vietnam by the Gonikoppa APMC. The declaration of Eco-sensitive Zone (ESZ) in Srimangala has affected nine villages. There is a need to send a resolution passed in the ZP opposing the move, to the government. The row over adulteration of pepper should be handed over to the CID to probe.

Reacting to it, president Harish said that the ZP has no authority to recommend for the CID probe. When the BJP members demanded to continue the meeting as per the agenda, the Congress members opposed it. They said that due to adulteration, the pepper price has crashed to Rs 350 per kg from Rs 600 per kg. The APMC has done injustice to the growers in Kodagu, said Shivu Madappa.

Finally, ZP president Harish said the ZP will cooperate for ACB probe.

Member Kiran Kariappa said that the district administration has failed to initiate precautionary measures to prevent mishaps at Chelavara waterfalls. To which, in-charge CEO Richard Vincent D’Souza said that ‘Pravasi Mitra’ will be deployed at tourist spots. Precautionary measures have been initiated by the district administration.

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