The Himachal state government has put a process in place to help apple growers bring in Nepalese labourers, but most of them feel it will help only a small number of farmers. “I don’t think it’s going to work out for many farmers, especially medium and small orchardists,” said Harish Chauhan, president, Himachal Pradesh Fruit, Vegetables and Flowers Growers Association.
“The process requires the growers to submit the citizen cards of the labourers to the SDMs of their respective areas, upon which travel passes will be issued for them. The problem is that not many growers have the contact numbers of the labourers. So, how are they going to contact them and get their citizen cards?” asked Chauhan. “Besides, the season has already started. It might be too late by the time most of them arrive”.
Tribuneindia.com points to sources in the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation that confirmed that so far only one bus had gone to fetch Nepalese labourers from the border, and there were no further orders in this regard.