Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cardamom auctions resume in Idukki

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 : Cardamom auctions in Kerala’s Idukki district, which came to a standstill since early this month in the wake of the Mullaperiyar dam row involving Tamil Nadu causing a loss of at least Rs 110 crore so far, resumed today as vehicles started plying between the two states.
The auction was being held at the Spices Board’s Puttady Spices Park in Idukki where about 102 tonnes of cardamom had arrived for trade, Spices board sources said.
The high-range Idukki district, where the contentious 116-year old dam is located, is a major producing centre for cardamom. A large number of Tamils are also employed in cardamom estates in the district.

As the movement of vehicles through the areas bordering Tamil Nadu had been hit since the past few weeks with tempers running high on both sides following the dam issue, traders from the neighbouring state were unable to reach Idukki.
Eight auctions are held every week, with two on Mondays being held at Bodinaickannur in Tamil Nadu, and the remaining at Kumily and the Puttady Park.
P C Punnose, General Manager, Kerala Cardamom Processing and Marketting Cooperative society, said vehicles were entering Kerala from Tamil Nadu and 51 traders from the state are participating in today’s auction. However, vehicles from Kerala were still not plying in Tamil Nadu, he said.
Growers association sources said vehicular movement across the two states was expected to become normal in two days.
Jeeps carrying farm labourers from in and around Theni district in Tamil Nadu have not yet begun operations affecting plucking operations in cardamom estates, the sources said.

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