Shimla, April 29
Timely intervention by the staff of the controlled atmosphere (CA) cold store of the Horticulture Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation (HPMC) at Jarol-Tikkar in Kotgarh today saved 21,000 apple boxes, following forest fire spreading to the unit.
It was early morning that the HPMC cold store at Jarol-Tikkar in Shimla district caught fire from the adjoining forest which was already on fire. It was timely action by the staff, including Sunny (RPO) and Bittu (helper), who, putting their lives to risk, made efforts to save the property and apples worth crores.
An official spokesperson said the team of engineers has restored the cooling process in chambers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. “Hopefully chamber 1 and 2 will be restored for cooling within an hour or two. The entire stock of 21,000 apple boxes is safe,” he said. He added that there was no cause for worry for the growers, who had kept their apples in the cold store.
The technical team said that the equipment required for cold store repair will reach the site tomorrow and cold chain system will also become active by the evening. As regards damage to the HPMC property, a surveyor has also reached the site and assessment is being done by him, he added.