Kashmir will soon have its largest satellite fruit and vegetable market in Jablipora area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Spread over 440 Kanal of land, the mandi would be one of the
largest in the country.
According to officials, the satellite fruit and vegetable (F&V) market or mandi would be complete in a few months with a total cost of around Rs 35 crore. “The mandi would benefit local fruit growers and traders, and generate employment to many people,” said the Director Horticulture (P&M), Vishesh Paul Mahajan.
“We are trying our best to complete the project within the shortest possible time,” he said. However, he said the people had to wait as the project took a little longer especially due to the delay in the acquisition of land and flood assessment.
“Our target was to open the mandi by this month-end but people have to be a little more patient before the state-of-the-art satellite marketplace is fully functional,” he said.
Mahanjan recently held a meeting with the fruit growers and traders of district Anantnag. He assured them that the terminal market of Jablipora fruit mandi will be functional soon and the shops will be allotted to those who had invested the money in the project.
The market will have multiple facilities for growers and traders including the first truck terminal, weighing bridges, office blocks, bank, post office, cold storage, Kissan Ghar, high-speed internet and cable network, high-mast lights besides yards, and nearly 700 shops.
This mandi would open new sales and marketing avenues for the local fruit growers who were otherwise dependent on other mandis in the neighbouring districts like Shopian.
“Local farmers and traders have also made contributions towards the mandis hoping that it will end their problems.So, we are meticulously monitoring the program and removing all bottlenecks,” the Director said.
The work for the mandi has been funded by the NABARD and PMDP and executed by the engineering wing of the Horticulture department. It was handed to the wing, following the foundation stone laid by the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
The department of horticulture had already faced huge criticism from people due to the delay in the opening of the mandi as eight years have already passed since the foundation stone was laid. During this period three mandis had come up in south Kashmir alone. Some of the growers said that the work had been halted due to the inefficiency of the department to handle the construction.
The allotment of stalls and shops to shopkeepers was also delayed despite paying the money. Mahajan also visited the Jablipora to get feedback from the growers, farmers, traders, and other related persons, so that the department can further enhance its outreach to become more beneficial to the community for their success. He had detailed interaction with growers and traders about the ways and means of further improvements in the fruit packing, grading and trading so that more benefits are achieved for the community.
A number of issues raised by the association members and others were part of the discussion also which included the allotment of shop sites and functioning of Terminal Market Jablipora. They also asked for the construction of a brick wall, Drainage, and Auction Phar 3 in Batingoo Mandi. The Director after giving a patient hearing to the issues raised assured the traders that all these demands would be met within the shortest possible time.
The Director also met the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, Piyush Singla for the resolution of a long-pending issue of the Demarcation of the land at F&V Market Jablipora.
DC assured the department to take up the matter on priority so that a proper demarcation of the land is conducted at the earliest.