BARAMULLA: The Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Thursday sanctioned Rs 4 crore for development of the Fruit Mandi in apple town Sopore of this north Kashmir district, stating that the area would be promoted as a “major fruit marketing hub”.
Sayeed, during his daylong tour of Sopore, announced development of the fruit market on modern lines to have it match “the benchmark standards”.
He sanctioned Rs 4 crore for improvement of roads within the Fruit Mandi premises and its peripheries to facilitate movement of fruit-laden trucks.
“The government will promote fruit business of Sopore town and revive the days when people used to call it Chota London,” he told a gathering of farmers.
Asking the growers to explore air transport as an option for export of quality fruits to markets outside, the Chief Minister said the Mandi will be upgraded to match “the international standards” and will have “add-on facilities like CA stores, packaging and grading line, soil and pesticide testing labs, online trading and dedicated transport terminals”.
“We have already announced market intervention scheme for Sopore and Shopian towns for quality control. The fruit growers will also be provided insurance cover against weather vagaries,” he said.
He also sought cooperation of leading fruit growers for establishing cold storage chains for quality improvement of fruits, particular of apple. It, he said, has been done in Lassipora, Pulwama, where several CA stores have been set up in Industrial Growth Centre (IGC).
Sayeed also directed the Tourism Department to create facilities at Ziyarat Shah-e-Hamdan, Sopore, for the visitors under pilgrim tourism.
Visiting the under-construction Sub District Hospital (SDH) Sopore later, the Chief Minister asked Health Department to upgrade it as a Model Hospital “laced with all modern equipment and manpower to meet day-to-day healthcare needs of the people”.