Tractor standing outside cold storage
– Photo: Amar Ujala
The cold store operators of Aligarh district are flouting the prescribed security arrangements. According to the prescribed rules, neither the building is being constructed nor the security arrangements are being made. The officers are blaming each other for this. In the cold store here, neither the tanks are made according to the standards, nor the National Building Code has been complied with. Other equipment including face mask, goggles are also not available.
There are 119 cold stores in the district. Safety standards are not being followed in most of the cold stores. Due to this, the possibility of an accident happening here also cannot be ruled out. Potato is cultivated on a large scale in Iglas, Gonda, Khair, Jattari, Tappal, Atrauli, Akarabad, Lodha and Gabhana areas of the district.
The process of opening a cold store is complex.
To open a cold store, the machines are verified according to the standards from the civil engineer and the mechanical engineer from the map. They are away from the population. The building is built on earthquake resistant standards. NOC report is required from Pollution Control Board and Electricity Department. There are a dozen rules the fire department has to follow.
It is mandatory to leave setback around the building, one lakh liter water tank, automatic sprinkler, automatic fire alarm system, ammonia suit with facemask, goggles, breathing apparatus set, wetriser, hose reel in the store premises. Septic and soakpit tanks are formed. There should be disaster management to deal with the leakage of ammonia gas. These should be verified by CA (Chartered Account), but these rules are not being followed.
- Number of cold storages in Aligarh Division – 292
- Storage Capacity – 2389466.18 MT
- So far 77 percent storage has been done in cold storages in Mandal
- Number of cold storages in the district – 119
- Storage Capacity – 850376.86 MT
- Rent for keeping seed potatoes – Rs 250 per quintal
- Potato keeping rent – Rs 285 per quintal
All the cold storages in the district are being operated as per the standards set by the government. No rules are being violated anywhere. From time to time, along with verification of the cold storage building and machines, the permission letter for operation of cold store is issued only after receiving the soil testing report. – Girraj Godani, President, Aligarh Cold Storage Association
All the rules of cold store operation are being followed. Continuous inspections are taking place. No flaws have been found anywhere. Potato farmers across the district do not have any storage problems. The rates for storage in cold storages have already been fixed. If any farmer has any problem, he can contact. -Doctor. Dhirendra Singh, District Horticulture Officer