The Fruit Mandis, particularly those established in recent times, should be properly maintained. That way the purpose for which the Mandis were set up can also be served.
Fruit Mandis were established in recent times at several places of Kashmir to give boost to apple production and trade. Usually Kashmiri apples go to outside markets for sale.
These fruit Mandis came up in Kashmir with a view that an apple grower gets direct access to Mandis locally, and sells his produce there.
Sometimes, the grower seemed helpless and used to feel that he was not getting the price he deserved for the apple after putting a lot of hard-work.
Direct access to newly created local markets helped him to some extent. Apple buyers from outside visit these Mandis to strike business deals. While the Mandis proved helpful, but poor maintenance continues to be a cause of concern in some of the cases.
Like the Fruit Mandi of Shopian at Aglar village, as per reports, is not in a good shape. It was shifted two years back from Aarhama village, where due to lack of adequate space and parking, and simultaneous movement of large number of trucks, it was causing massive jamming on Srinagar-Shopian Road.
The Aarhama Fruit Mandi was also set up in recent times. Reports say that at Aglar, unclean toilets, heaps of garbage, poor lighting system and other related problems cause inconvenience to local growers and traders, and also to traders who visit the Mandi from outside.
The traders say that the Fruit Mandi Shopian is the third largest Mandi in the country, spread over 393 kanals of land, providing livelihood to 10, 000 people and generating an annual turnover of Rs 4,000 crores. This Mandi of huge significance should not be in a bad shape.
The Horticulture Planning and Marketing Department, looking after the maintenance, should not be so negligent towards its duties. The officials must have taken care of the maintenance aspect from the very beginning when the Mandi was shifted to Aglar from Aarhama.
The continuous neglect is leading to many problems. The local traders must approach the concerned department and get the things done. The traders and growers too have a responsibility keeping the Mandi in a better condition.
Since they are doing trade from there and mandi generates livelihood to 10,000 people, the local people too must provide a helping hand in making conditions better in the Mandi.
It is not about the Shopian Fruit Mandi only, the Mandis at other places too must be properly maintained and taken care of. Deterioration in conditions can increase the inconvenience to the visiting people and can affect the business.
Both, the concerned department and the traders, have to do everything possible to strengthen the infrastructure and properly maintain the Mandis.