Incomplete fruit markets hamper J&K trade

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Suhail bhat
Jammu / Srinagar, September 11: While in Jammu, the operation of the Chak Avtara village fruit and vegetable market in Bishnah has been delayed as general manager, the Bishnah municipal committee denies building permission to beneficiaries of stores under the pretext that the subordinate tax agencies did not give NOC stating that the land on which the stores are to be built is Garmumkin Chapri, the same fate remains the fate of two fruit markets in Shopian and Anantnag in South Kashmir, which were approved many years ago to improve commercial facilities, primarily for apple harvesting. While South Kashmir’s markets remain underdeveloped, producers complain that the lack of facilities is having a negative impact on trade.
Sources informed that the land in question in Bishnah is under Khasra number 357 measuring 20 kanal and six marla in the village of Chak Avtara and was acquired by the Department of Horticulture through the Collector Land Acquisition Jammu.
They also informed that the land had been transferred to the name of the Department of Horticulture which spent government money on the construction of an administrative block, road and perimeter wall in and around the acquired land.
“The allocation of shops to the market has been made and 54 shops were allocated in 2013, 11 in 2016 and 21 in 2021,” the sources said.
In Kashmir, the government decided to build state-of-the-art fruit markets in Aglar and Jablipora regions, Shopian and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir, respectively in 2005 and 2013, to improve facilities market for the apple harvest, which is the mainstay of the economies of these districts of southern Kashmir.
However, markets remain unfinished although the apple trade contributes significantly to the region’s economy, with traders blaming government indifference for the delay.
Shopian apple traders said they were asked a few years ago to operate a new apple market in the Aglar region on the outskirts of town, where basic amenities are lacking. “Apart from a few auction sheds, nothing is available in the market,” said Ali Mohammad, a local trader.
The apple growers said authorities promised them a satellite market with parking for hundreds of trucks, an office for traders, residential quarters for workers, a bank, and housing for outside traders, but none of them. these equipments are only available in the market.
They said that after a 14 year wait; they were given a facility that lacked even basic amenities.
Bijbehara producers shared the same concerns as facilities including market yards, weighbridges, administrative buildings, banks, post offices, cold stores, 600 stores and other equipment still need to be developed. on the market.
“We now expected the completion of this contract. But the government’s lax attitude has once again let us down, ”says producer Nissar Ahmad. He alleged that in the absence of the facility, they are forced to operate from the Anantnag or Shopian fruit markets, hampering trade.
While expressing their dissatisfaction with the delay of the project, traders accused the department of not having completed the installation despite contributions from producers. “We donated Rs 1 lakh for office space, but we have yet to receive the benefits,” said Rashid Ahmad, a local fruit trader.
Traders said that in addition to facilitating trade, the markets have provided jobs for hundreds of local youth.
“Administrative indifference wasted both projects,” the producers said. They added that it shows the government’s attitude towards the development of the state’s horticultural sector which generates rupee crores every year.
Officials familiar with the details said the projects suffered several setbacks, including at least three unrest and devastating flooding in 2014. “These are the complete projects that will include all amenities. We didn’t expect it to be finished right away, but it should have been open by now. Adverse circumstances caused the delay, ”he said.
Horticultural Planning and Marketing Director Vishesh Mahajan told Excelsior that the Flood Protection Wall in Shopian Market, which costs around Rs 2 crore, has yet to receive funding. approval, but that the authorities assured him that it would soon be approved. “We have discussed it with the government and hope for approval soon,” he said.
Asked about the Jablipora market, he said the whole project was under review as there was not enough land available for the project. “Part of the land has been allocated to a different department, which means there must be changes in the project or more land must be made available. The whole project is under review, ”he explained.


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