SRINAGAR: Minister for Horticulture, Abdul Rehman Veeri, on Wednesday said south Kashmir’s Shopian district would get a hi-tech fruit market soon.
“A state-of-the-art fruit mandi at Aglar would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 37.70 crore. In this regard a project of Rs 5.58 crore has already been sanctioned and Rs 1.56 crore released by the government,” he announced in his address to fruit growers of the district.
The existing Fruit Mandi in Shopian is spread over an area of 32 kanals, having 90 shop sites, 11 kiosks, four auction platforms. But it does not cater to needs of the local fruit growers and traders.
The minister said the hi-tech market would be developed on 250 kanals of land with all modern facilities including cold-storage, grading and packaging unit, guest house and truck terminal.
A “reputed consultancy” would be engaged for formulation of its design, he said.
The government, he said, would also utilise Rs 18 crore on the flood-protection works of the market situated on the banks of Rambiara.
He said “strengthening” horticulture sector would result in “strengthening the economy of the state as a whole”. He listed measures and packages the government had put in place to boost the horticulture sector.
“The horticulture sector is responsible for generating substantial livelihood for people and strengthening the economy. It holds promise for investors,” the minister said.
“The fruit markets in the state need to be upgraded. The adequate transport facilities and regulation of exports to outside markets also requires priority attention,” he said and stressed on the need to provide quality pesticides and fertilisers to the orchardists. He reiterated that the upcoming Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) will be first introduced in apple-growing Shopian and Sopore townships of Kashmir Valley.