Decade on, Kupwara Fruit Mandi still incomplete
Kupwara, Apr 20: After missing several deadlines, the Fruit Mandi Kupwara is still a long way from completion. Officials blame paucity of funds for sluggish pace of construction work.
The foundation stone of the Mandi, tipped as first of its kind in the district, was laid in 2002. The deadline set for completion was 2004.
A decade on since the laying of the foundation stone, the Mandi is yet to be made functional.
The traders and the growers said the lack of marketing and storage facility cause huge losses to them. “We are forced to conduct our trade operations on the pavements in absence of shops,” they said.
The growers said: “150 shops were proposed to be constructed for the traders. However, eight years down the line only 20 shops have been completed.”
Pertinently, the traders had booked the shops in anticipation paying goodwill worth Rs 20,000 each to Marketing and Planning wing of Horticulture Department.
“Despite depositing the goodwill money years before, the department has yet to construct the shops,” the traders said.
“The department had assured us that the Mandi will be made fully functional by 2004 since. But such promises have proved hoax,” Ali Muhammad, a trader said.
The growers said in absence of proper marketing facility, “we are forced to store our fruit especially walnut in Narwal Fruit Mandi in Jammu where we pay at least 7 per cent commission to forwarding agents.”
“We are dependent on agents at Jammu and Delhi who charge us huge commission. We have to pay at least Rs 35 per kg for dry fruit to agents,” Muhammad Akbar, a trader said, adding that had the Mandi been in place in the district, “we could save this money.”
Meanwhile, the traders have appealed the government to make the Mandi functional as early as possible and develop it on modern lines so that they can market their produce from Kupwara.
“The fruit mandi would have created employment opportunities in the district. I had booked a shop in the mandi for my unemployed son,” said Irfan Ahmad, a walnut trader.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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