With necessary infrastructure for storage developed by the state government, one lakh flower cultivators and traders are confident of supplying 50 lakh lotuses during Durga Puja this year. It may be mentioned that proper facility to store flowers had been a long standing problem for the flower cultivators and traders of the state. Soon, after it came to the notice of the concerned officials of the state government, necessary steps were taken and the Mamata Banerjee government has developed proper storage facilities in different parts of the state.
Multi-purpose cold storages were set up at Bagnan in Howrah and Panskura in East Midnapore. Both Bagnan and Panskura are the two major flower producing regions in the state. According to the flower cultivators, there is a requirement of around 50 lakh lotuses in the state during the Puja. It also gets exported to other states. The demand for lotuses of Bengal remains high across the country because of its superior quality.
In a bid to ensure that there is no shortage of lotuses during the Puja as per the demand, it is quite essential to start storing it for quite some weeks ahead of the Puja. But earlier there were no proper storage facilities in the state and as a result a large quantity of flowers used to get damaged. Now, the state government has set up multi-purpose cold storages to support flower cultivators and traders. The traders now face no problem in storing flowers. It also ensured sufficient supply of lotuses on the days of Puja. Durga Puja organisers visit markets mainly on Panchami and Sasthi to buy flowers and most Puja organisers prefer to visit wholesale markets such as Jagannath Ghat Flower Market that is situated near Kolkata end of Howrah Bridge. Jagannath Ghat Market is the Asia’s biggest flower market and people from all across Kolkata and its adjacent areas visit the place. Narayan Nayak, Secretary of West Bengal Flower Cultivators and Traders Samity, said: “Setting up of the multi-purpose cold storages have helped us a lot as it reduced the quantity of wastage. As a result of which farmers do not incur loss.” According to a senior official of the state government, steps are being taken to further develop infrastructure to support flower cultivators.