SRINAGAR: The government on Thursday said it would acquire 26 kanals of land for expansion and upgrading of Baramulla fruit market on modern lines.
“Government is acquiring additional 26 kanals of land for upgrading the fruit mandi. For this purpose, Rs 2.50 crore already stand released towards cost of land compensation,” an official handout quoted the Minister for Horticulture, Abdul Rehman Veeri, as saying during his visit to the mandi, located at Kansipora, Baramulla.
He, as per the handout, said the fruit market would be upgraded on modern lines “so that it matches the benchmark standards” in the sector.
The market is presently spread over 41 kanals of land.
Taking stock of the facilities developed at the market, the minister assured more funds for its infrastructural development.
He directed the concerned authorities to ensure time-bound completion of requisite facilities. He said shopping sites in the market would be allotted to “deserving growers and traders through draw of lots in due course of time”.
Addressing growers and traders on the occasion, the minister asked them to explore rail transport as an option for export of quality fruits to the markets outside.
“The mandi will be upgraded to match the countrywide standards and will have add-on facilities like CA stores, packaging and grading line, soil testing lab, online trading and dedicated transport terminals,” he said.
He sought cooperation of the leading fruit growers in establishing cold storage chains in the Valley.
He said several CA stores have come up at Industrial Growth Centre (IGC), Lassipora in district Pulwama.
“The same needs to be done in other areas of the state,” he said.
The horticulture minister said 4,000 kanals of orchard land have been identified for high-density apple plantation in Kashmir during the next season.
He reiterated that the high-density plants would be imported from Europe and would subsequently be provided on subsidised rates to the growers.