Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Renault Delivers Zoe, Frenchwomen Cry Foul

November 11, 2010

Renault gets go ahead for ‘Zoe’

It could be the French version of “A Boy Named Sue” – a car named Zoe. A judge ruled Wednesday that the automaker Renault can call its new electric car Zoe, much to the chagrin of some French women and girls with that first name.

Parents of two children named Zoe Renault (pronounced ZOH-eh ruh-NO) had argued in court that their children could end up enduring a lifetime of teasing and annoyance – just like the fictional youth named Sue in the famous Johnny Cash song.

The families, who are not related to the car company, wanted Renault to choose another name for the model.
Renault gets go ahead for 'Zoe'

“There’s a line between living things and inanimate objects, and that line is defined by the first name,” lawyer David Koubbi told The Associated Press in an interview. “We’re telling Renault one very simple thing: First names are for humans.”

But a judge found against Koubbi’s clients in a fast-track proceeding, ruling that the parents would only have a case it they could prove that naming the car “Zoe” would cause the children “certain, direct and current harm.”

Renault gets go ahead for 'Zoe'

Koubbi said he would appeal the decision.

He insisted that while it’s clear the Zoe Renaults of the world would be most affected by the release of the car – slated for 2012 – all of France’s estimated 35,000 Zoes would feel the sting.

“Can you imagine what little Zoes would have to endure on the playground, and even worse, when they get a little bit older and someone comes up to them in a bar and says, ‘Can I see your airbags?’ or ‘Can I shine your bumper?'” Koubbi said.

The lawyer said Renault named it the Zoe ZE because of the electric-powered auto’s zero emissions.

Renault gets go ahead for 'Zoe'

Renault, one of France’s two main carmakers, has already given several of its cars female first names – including its compact hatchback Megane and its mini Clio. Both are popular girls’ names in France, but there was no organized opposition to either name.

The fight over Zoe, which means “life” in Greek, has gotten considerable media attention in France, where a petition on a Facebook page called “Zoe’s not a car name” has garnered more than 6,000 signatures.

Renault gets go ahead for 'Zoe'

First names are a serious matter in France, which formerly restricted parents’ choices to a specific list of traditional names. The rules have since been loosened, but even today officials can oppose parents’ choices on the grounds that ridiculous names can hurt their future.

In June, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said he was aware of the issue and wanted to avoid any controversy that could potentially hurt the car’s sales.

“We don’t want our car to come on the market with a name which is a handicap,” he told Europe-1 radio.

Renault gets go ahead for 'Zoe'

Still, a Renault official emphasized that there’s no plan to change the car’s name.

“We ordered several studies that showed that it’s not a handicap for the car, so there’s no reason to make any changes,” said the official, who declined to give his name in accordance with company policy. “We’re very happy with the judge’s decision.”

Attorney Koubbi said the two Zoes at the heart of the case are 2 and 8 years old and their parents were not seeking any damages.

Koubbi, who has represented French celebrity clients, took the case on a pro bono basis.

Why?

Because his stepdaughter’s name is Zoe.

Source: AP

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Cement Giant Coming Up in Assam

September 8, 2010

Silchar, Sep 8 : Assam’s biggest cement plant will come up near the railway town of Badarpur in Karimganj district in the middle of 2013.

To cost Rs 267 crore, the Valley Strong Cement (Assam) Limited, at Debendranagar village, will be capable of producing 6.6 lakh tonnes of cement a year.

Promoted by the Chamaria-Gorodia group, which has another cement plant at Debendranagar, the plant will be the third of its kind in Barak Valley.

Chamaria-Gorodia group’s other cement plant, called Barak Valley Cement Plant, has an annual output of 3lakh tonnes a year.

Debandranagar’s second cement plant will come up on a 30-hectare plot near the group’s first cement plant.

The group’s vice-president (finance and administration), Mukesh Agarwal, today said the construction of this plant would get off the ground as soon as they get clearance from the Union ministry of the forest and environment ministry.

A mass hearing of the residents of Debendranagar village was held at the behest of the Regional Pollution Control Board of the state government recently, where villagers unanimously approved of the second plant at the village.

With a population of 6,000, Debendranagar has its advantages, especially in terms of location.

First, is its proximity to National Highway 44, which joins Barak Valley and adjoining Tripura to the rest of the country.

Hence, it will be easy to import raw materials from adjoining Meghalaya.

The entire Barak Valley has the advantage of importing limestone from Jaintia hills in adjacent Meghalaya, which is a three-hour drive from Badarpur.

Second, it is only 2km from the Barak river.

During monsoon, when the river is in full spate, cement can be sent to Bengal and other states by cargo vessels at a low cost.

Besides, the village is only 45km from Silchar airport and 4km from the metre gauge point of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

Agarwal said the proposed plant would provide employment to around 1,000 people.

He said their second plant would go a long way in meeting the annual demand for 4.75 million tonnes of cement in the Northeast. The output of cement, mainly Portland variety, in the Northeast is estimated at 2.21 million tonnes, which is 55 per cent of the total requirement, at present.

Assam Tea Business Getting Healthier

September 5, 2010

By Azera Rahman

Tinsukia (Assam), Sep 5 : A green revolution is sweeping Assam, empowering many people for the first time and rejuvenating the state’s economy. Small tea gardens now dot the landscape as more and more people turn their backyards into mini tea plantations.

It does not really matter if you have a small patch of vegetable garden to spare or a big mass of land.

According to the All Assam Small Tea Growers Association (AASTGA), the number of small tea growers has swelled to 65,000 in the last two decades. And it is on the rise.

Assam currently produces around 480 million kg of tea. Around 30 percent of this comes from small tea growers.

Lakhi Gogoi is one of the many who has his own tea garden – Rajashree Tea Estate – in the upper Assam district of Tinsukia.

‘In 2008, my green tea leaf production touched 80,000 kg. In 2009, it rose to 81,000 and this year I am expecting it to touch 100,000. Tea business is good business,’ Gogoi told IANS.

Although Gogoi worked in a well-known tea company earlier, he had no knowledge of the business.

‘I am well accustomed to the know-hows of tea cultivation, spraying pesticides, pruning and plucking. It was a matter of time before I realized that if the big tea companies can grow these plants and reap such big benefits, so can I,’ he said.

‘After years of toying with the idea, I began my venture in 1996 on a small patch of land. Over the years, I scaled up my operations and now grow tea in 50 bighas of land,’ Gogoi said.

Depending on the market conditions, the price of green tea leaves varies between Rs.12 and Rs.18 a kg.

Said an AASTGA official: ‘By growing tea in underutilized uplands, small tea growers have brought in a green revolution in Assam by bringing in huge socio-economic changes.’

‘More than 900,000 people are involved in the small tea growing business in Assam. Almost 250, 000 hectares of land is covered for such plantations. They contribute to 29 percent of the total tea produced by Assam, which is 14 percent of the total tea production of India,’ the official added.

Even farmers in villages, who traditionally grew vegetables, are now opting for tea cultivation. ‘Tea cultivation brings much higher profits and is a steady source of income,’ said D. Bora, a farmer.

In a state where unemployment looms large, youth are the biggest beneficiaries.

Rajiv Sharma, 28, decided to try his hands in tea plantation two years ago. He started small — growing tea bushes in the backyard of his house. And there has been no looking back since.

‘My parents were initially sceptical and said tea production has always been the big companies’ cup of tea. But I was willing to take the risk. I started small and now have the capacity to invest in more land for more plantations,’ Sharma said.

Unlike the big tea companies like McLeod Russel India and Goodricke, small tea growers do not have their own factories. They sell their leaves either to the big firms or smaller private factories which in turn manufacture and market it under different brands.

One of the challenges that the small tea growers are facing is that of maintaining quality.

‘Not all growers are aware of banned chemicals. All they seek for are strong pesticides which will kill the pests – thus making the wrong choice. As a result, this tea does not get a good price at tea auctions,’ Sharma told IANS.

It is for this reason tea leaves of small growers are manufactured and branded differently from the main brands by the big tea companies. Nevertheless, almost 25 percent of the tea manufactured by the tea moghuls are from the small growers.

While the small tea growers are helping to change the socio-economic condition in Assam, they hardly get any help from the state government.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia’s recent announcement of a special scheme to provide financial assistance to the community has, however, given them some hope.

‘If the government is seriously thinking of helping us, it will be great. We are after all an unorganized sector. Let’s just hope it is not another empty promise,’ said Gogoi.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at azera.p@ians.in)

Mumbai Business to Back Northeast Opportunities

August 16, 2010

https://i0.wp.com/www.imcnet.org/indiacalling_09/images/IMC%20logo.gifMumbai, Aug 16 : Encouraged by recent steps to promote investment in India’s northeast, representatives of industry and business in the country’s financial capital here have agreed to boost the region’s economy.

Following a two-day workshop here on business opportunities in the northeast, the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC), one of the country’s oldest and most influential chambers of commerce, said it would send a high-level group to the region to explore specific areas of investment to help promote its unique business opportunities.

Business representatives described presentations by political leaders, top officials, entrepreneurs, journalists and Assam Governor Lt. Gen. (retired) Ajai Singh as “an eye-opener” because they had been unaware of attractive transport subsidies, tax benefits and plans to introduce VAT in all eight states of the region in a few months.

The IMC said it could consider partnerships with business organisations in the northeast and focus on public and corporate governance.

IMC president Nanik Rupani announced at the workshop that ended Sunday that he was prepared to take a group of senior industrialists from Mumbai to the region to take a look at ground realities and opportunities.

In addition, said IMC’s financial advisor Kiran Nanda, the organisation could connect raw material producers in the region, such as limestone producers and those with medicinal and aromatic plantations, with manufacturers and exporters here.

“Businessmen don’t need invitations, they need information,” said Viral Shah, a chartered accountant, supporting the view that the northeastern states needed to lobby seriously in Mumbai.

“It is not just the big industrialists who should come, you need to disseminate information about the region on a sustained basis here with small and medium traders and producers.”

The head of an exporters association said he planned to take a large number of potential investors to the northeast after hearing of central and state government initiatives and the opportunities to trade with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The workshop, organised by the Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research in collaboration with IMC, drew over 100 participants who interacted with senior area representatives including the economic advisor to the Assam chief minister and cabinet ministers from Assam and Tripura.

Other participants were Kamal Taori, secretary of the North Eastern Council, and Surajit Mitra, joint secretary in the ministry for the development for the northeastern region in New Delhi.

Those who attended included bankers, financial specialists and executives from the corporate world such as Reliance Industries and ITC, business specialists from the US and Taiwan and senior editors, local traders and environmental activists.

Assam’s Planning and Development Minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma was at pains to point out that insurgency was on its way out and the state was determined to pull out all stops for investors.

Tripura’s Industry and Agriculture Minister Tapan Chakrabarty spoke of his state’s strengths in governance and its focus on rubber, bamboo and medicinal plant products.

Encouraged by the response, conference organisers said more interactions between business and government were planned to sustain the proposed initiatives.

It’s Time For Northeast to Take PPP Route to Growth

August 1, 2010

By Sanjay Krishna

india-infrastructure101 Despite becoming the second fastest growing and the fourth largest economy of the world, India continues to face large gaps in demand and supply of essential social and economic infrastructure and services.

Rapidly growing economy, increased industrial activity, burgeoning population pressures have led to greater demand for better quality and coverage of infrastructure services. In order to bridge the gap between supply and demand, the Government of India has taken up the public private partnership (PPP) mode of investment for providing services to the populace within a reasonable time frame.

The approximate requirement of infrastructure investment in the Twelfth Plan is estimated at $1 trillion and 50% of this is proposed to be met through the PPP mode. This has become a great challenge to a state like Assam which needs huge investments to catch up with the national growth rate by 2020.

North Eastern Region (NER) Vision 2020 aims at bridging the yawning gap between NER and the rest of the country. The document estimates that investments worth Rs 13 lakh crore are primarily needed for development of infrastructure.

This investment requirement can not be met by the government alone and shall need involvement of private partners. However, considering the present scenario of inadequacy of infrastructure and location disadvantage, it would be a challenge for the state government like Assam to attract private investment of such colossal magnitude.

The Assam government with the help of the Centre has taken up physical and social infrastructure development programs through initiation of various measures like infusion of capital from World Bank, ADB, JICA and Central government pool.

Mobilising government resources to fully meet the fund requirements would put a huge tax burden on the people of the state. The Assam government proposes to bring in private sector investment with PPP mode as one of the preferred routes.

Many infrastructure projects may not be financially viable, at least in the short run. Financial viability of such projects can be improved by availing viability gap funding from Government of India.

Assam is blessed with abundant water resources, huge hydrocarbon, large quantities of low ash coal, limestone and dolomite, granite as well as deposits of a few other unexplored important minerals and oils etc.

It offers ideal climatic conditions for growing tea, rubber and forest resources like bamboo, medicinal herbs etc. Assam is packed with number of tourist hotspots which offer vast potential for tourism.

Therefore, the state offers a congenial investment atmosphere with comprehensive central investment policy for Northeast Region and liberalized state industrial policies, both providing attractive incentives or subsidies.

Availability of skilled and cheap manpower, a large pool of English-speaking manpower and vast natural resources have the potential to translate the state into a suitable destination for major investment hub.

Some national and international investors may shy away from investing in Northeast citing geographical distance and the so-called turbulence in the area but many PPP projects are being unfolded in Assam in particular, indicating investors’ interests.

Many projects—numbering 45 in total and worth of over `8,350 crore—have been identified and are being taken up for development by the state government across sectors ranging from urban development to power, health and education.

The political stability coupled with the state’s incentives for industries have turned out to be key drivers for the new PPP story in the Northeast. It’s only a matter of time that Northeast India may script major success stories in private sector investments as well.

(**The writer has served as joint secretary in PMO and finance ministry)

Subansiri MoU After Doubts Cleared: Assam Minister

July 29, 2010

By Supratim Dey

Subansiri Guwahati Jul 29 : The Assam government has made it clear that until and unless it was “sufficiently comfortable” that the 2,000MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Project would not have any adverse impact on the downstream areas in the state, it would not sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NHPC Ltd.

The state government will rely on “scientific studies” to assess the impact of the dam on downstream areas in the state.

“Only when we are fully comfortable that the proposed dam will not have any adverse affect on downstream Assam, we will sign the MoU with NHPC,” said Assam’s power and industry minister Pradyut Bordoloi.

He added that to arrive at any conclusion regarding the cumulative impact of the dam on ecology and downstream areas, sufficient “scientific” studies should be carried out.

A part of the Rs 6,400 crore Lower Subansiri Project falls in Assam and the rest in Arunachal Pradesh. The MoU with Arunachal Pradesh government had been signed following which construction on that side of the border is undergoing.

An inter-ministerial group, formed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had submitted a report in March 2010, and recommended further studies on the Lower Subansiri Project. Bordoloi said that the group would soon send a team of experts to undertake further studies on the impact of the dam.

Recently, an expert committee report of Assam, which was critical of mega dams in Arunachal Pradesh and particularly the Lower Subansiri Project, has resulted in various students’ and civil organisations taking to streets demanding immediate suspension of the project. “We have taken the expert committee report very seriously. We have already forwarded it to the Centre, and want the centre to take further steps. Our chief minster too has written to the Prime Minister requesting him to take up the matter,” Bordoloi said.

Coming down heavily on the agitating organisations, Bordoloi said: “It is experts who, after detailed studies, will say us if the dam should be constructed, and not any students’ or civil organisation leader who lacks such expertise to assess the impact.”

When asked if he too favours immediate suspension of construction work at the site in the wake of the expert committee report, Bordoloi said, “We cannot forcibly stop the construction works. But we need to be comfortable through further scientific studies.”

“I assure you, if it is found that the Lower Subansiri Project is not in the interests of Assam, our government will never let it happen,” Bordoloi added.

How to Survive ‘Sale’ Season

July 21, 2010

By Veena Venugopal

It’s sale season and by the time I reached Gurgaon’s Ambience Mall on Sunday afternoon, most of the merchandise was already on the floor and the crowd, highly reminiscent of a Mumbai local station during peak hour, was clawing and elbowing its way through mountains of apparels and accessories.

Three hours later, nursing an extra large Costa coffee and surveying my bruises and scratches, I couldn’t stop feeling victorious about all the money I had saved. (Though I am an easily deluded consumer and end up buying things I wouldn’t have otherwise, just because they are on sale).

Despite the fact that I thought it was an afternoon well spent, I could not help shaking off the feeling that there has to be a better way to do this. After all, I always buy from specific shops and I shouldn’t have to walk from one end of the mall to the other (and Ambience has 1 kilometre of shopping on every floor, no kidding) just to see if Lacoste has a sale or not. How can I make this scientific and specific? I have, by now, moved almost all of my book buying online and am a much the happier for it. So I checked the sale sites – I had read about them somewhere and knew they existed.

Here then is my quick review of three sale and deal websites.

1.    www.salenoffers.com – Seems fantastic. It has the listings of all the stores that I shop from. You can setup a favourites list for yourself. So it becomes easy to cut through the garbage and get right down to what you want.
Unfortunately, it only has Mumbai listings. But if the stores you want to shop in are more national than small and independent, a quick extrapolation works.

2.    www.savingsmela.com – is definitely national. It has a state-wise, city wise listing covering everything from Aizwal in Mizoram to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. But the actual list of sales and offers was pretty bad. In fact, it retuned none for most of the random options that I tried.
But the homepage has a tab that says ‘Today’s Deals’ and they are very decent. And it has a huge listing of florist deals.

3.    upto75.com – by far my favourite. Its sheer range of stuff you can get discounts on is amazing. Gym membership to haircuts. Ayurvedic therapy to building a website. The site is quite user-friendly – with specific tabs for metros and mini metros and another for multi city deals. It offers discounts on quite a few restaurants and also has easy links to facebook and twitter – just in case you want to get your friends onboard. If you register, they send you an e-mail a week, listing the sales and discounts in your city. If you don’t want to be bothered by that, just check their website.

Out of Time

June 17, 2010

By Samar Halarnkar

lmn * A thirsty African bushman digs a hole, digs out a root and tries to wring water from it. He squeezes out a drop and just when it’s within reach, his friend distracts him. The drop falls to the floor and they end up chasing each other around a straw hut.

* It’s the two bushmen again, this time digging frantically for water with their hands. They see a water tap, yank it out and start digging with it instead.

‘Lemon, lemon, lemon,’ goes the punchline of a series of advertisements now playing on television screens nationwide. 

The loincloth-clad bushmen were flown in from Africa, and the ad for Parle-Agro’s LMN lemon drink was shot in Thailand. A good example of globalisation. “These short adverts have a different grammar of humour,” says Sajan Raj Kurup, chief creative officer of Creativeland Asia in CampaignIndia, an advertising industry publication. “They are strikingly bold and edgy. And definitely a departure from the regular humour we are used to. Whether you love them or not, I’m sure no one can ignore them.”

The Coca-Cola Company is running another prominent campaign for a competing drink: Sprite. Made by multinational ad agency Ogilvy and Mather (O&M), this, too, involves Africans, this time in grass skirts. They grab two Gen Y Indians. One of the Indians unsuccessfully tries to win them over with some frantic dancing. The other simply offers them Sprite.

In interviews, O&M’s group creative director Ajay Gehlaut defends his ads as ‘good humour’ and the use of Africans as ‘regular people’. Other agencies, too, use humour and the we-treat-them-like-us argument.

The issue isn’t the use of African tribals per se. The issue is the use of African tribals as a metaphor for backwardness. It reflects an ignorance that reinforces the bigotry many Indians betray in their dealings with Africans. I do not say Gehlaut and his people are bigots; just that the stereotypes they portray are, at best, terribly inappropriate in a globalised world. At worst, these ads perpetuate and strengthen the widespread, outright racism that Africans face in India.

Would they create humorous situations involving ‘regular people’ from India’s scheduled castes and tribes? Would they use Africans in other garbs — say, doctors or engineers? Would copywriters make an advertisement like this for Western markets? I doubt it.

This is not to say advertising in the West has not used racism, subtle or otherwise. Stereotypes are a human failing. But in an increasingly multicultural world, it is important to acknowledge and correct mistakes. About four years ago, German automaker Volkswagen released an advertisement for Polo, a car just released in India. It showed a terrorist blowing himself up in a Polo, killing only himself because the blast could not penetrate the car. ‘Small. But tough.’ It was funny. It was also a stereotype. Volkswagen yanked the ad and banned its release worldwide.

Advertising works at a subliminal level. It plays on joys, fears and other human feelings. It reinforces these feelings to prompt an action, usually a purchase, of a product or an idea. In 1998, the US witnessed the success of a racist ad issued to support the candidacy of George H.W. Bush. Using the picture and story of Willie Horton, a murderer sentenced to life — he raped and robbed during a weekend release programme — the ad made Democrat nominee Michael Dukakis seem powerless, as black convicts raped women. Dukakis had nothing to do with the prison-system lapse, but the ad played into racist fears. The Republican Party has a history of racially offensive campaign ads, and so it’s no surprise that African-Americans tend not to trust the party.

Even if you argue that the Sprite and LMN ads are not mean, they reinforce a mocking manner that many Indians use with Africans, who swiftly get to know what ‘kalu’ (‘blackie’) means. News of the racism that Africans face in India — from housing and restaurant discrimination to monkey hoots on the streets — spreads fast through the wired, global village.

“LMN, Sprite ads creators, no creative thinkers, outright bigots,” is the headline of a bitter post by a Ugandan student in Bhopal on the home page of www.thereigntimes.com, a site popular with Africans. He talks of growing up with Ugandans of Indian origin at home and then being shocked — despite prior warning — at the racism he faces in India: “For the first time in my life, I offended people, not with actions, reactions or anything closely such, but by virtue of the colour of my skin.” He makes the point that I do: that these ads “provoke racial stereotypes”, that they are just plain wrong in this day and age.

The negative effect of such ads and attitudes could prove especially damaging to India Inc as it prepares a big push into Africa, the world’s next emerging market. The purchase of telecom conglomerate Zain Africa by Bharti Airtel is a significant opportunity to regain some of the ground lost to China in the relentless tussle between the two countries for new markets, sources of raw material and influence. With a growth forecast of nearly 5 per cent, Africa is where Indian business is headed. “I believe the next decade is going to belong to Africa,” says Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, who sees the continent as India was 15 to 20 years ago. Let’s hope in 20 years Africans don’t end up mocking us as we do them.

Yes Bank Launches Operations in Northeast India

June 13, 2010

yes bank Guwahati, Jun 13 : Yes Bank, India’s new age private sector Bank, on Saturday formally inaugurated its North East India and West Bengal Banking operations by adding 15 Branches (10 Operational Branches and 5 Branches opening shortly), to further focus on the growing business and financial opportunities in this key region in our country.

The inauguration by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee from the flagship YES BANK Kolkata Branch at Camac Street, witnessed the presence of business leaders and industry experts from across this significant region. The Bank also announced its plans to launch 100 more branches across the country within the next one year.

YES BANK’s objective is to strengthen the financial infrastructure in the significant Northeast region & West Bengal, by establishing an extensive and robust framework of state-of-the-art branches providing comprehensive financial solutions, specifically catering to Large & Mid-Corporate, State Government entities, SMEs and Individual customers in this high-potential region.

The Bank aims to transform branches from mere transaction outlets to ‘Service Oriented Financial Centers’, thus shifting the focus from providing vanilla transactions to value added services.

YES BANK presently has a network of 150 branches in 124 city locations across India, with a growing presence in the Eastern and Northeast region. Y

Commenting on the future plans, Rana Kapoor, Founder/Managing Director & CEO, YES BANK said, “YES BANK will steadily enter into the Retail Banking segments, by offering a wide suite of competitive products including secured/unsecured business loans, working capital finance, Trade & CMS and complementary products including CV finance, secured personal loans, amongst others gradually, while augmenting the pan-India Branch presence.”

Economic Blockade Hits Poultry Business in Manipur

June 13, 2010

poultry_big Imphal, Jun 13 : Poultry business in Manipur has been severely affected due to continued economic blockade.

The ongoing blockade along the national highways, which is on for more than 60 days, has affected the supply of poultry feeds, which is normally brought from outside. One bag of poultry feeds weighing around 70 kilogram used to cost Rs 1,060 earlier.

But now the same is being sold for Rs 2,000.

The farmers have started to feed the chicken with local feed, which has resulted in weight loss of the chicken and the spread of white diarrhoea.

“We somehow manage to provide them with the local feed products made by us. But the feed is not of controlled quality and so the chickens are getting ill and their growth is retarded,” said Pradeep Singh, a feed wholesaler.

Before the blockade, about 11,000 to 12,000 chicken were brought into the State by road at least two to three times a week.

But now, only 2,000 chicken are being brought in to the state per week by air.