|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, Sept 18: Nearly five vegetable and fruit markets (Mandies) projects have kept in languish by Department of Horticulture due to paucity of funds.
Well placed sources informed Early Times that the work of five Fruit & vegetable markets at Bishnah, Batote, Akhnoor phase-II, Rajouri, Poonch and Doda were announced by department of horticulture under centrally sponsored scheme but given inordinate delay in releasing funds by the union government, these projects have been craving for funds, the reason best known to authority concerned.
"Every year, the government allocated funds for the development of these mandies under capex budet, ironically this year the government has not released a single penny for the development of it, resulting, the department concerned now kept all the projects in languish projects due to non availability of the funds", said sources while wishing anonymity.
Sources further said that the development of fruit and vegetable mandies scheme was started in Jammu and Kashmir in the year of 1997-98. For the development of nearly 36 fruit and vegetable markets in phased manner at a revised estimated cost of Rs. 205 Crore, with a view to overcome the marketing challenges for the horticulture produce viz. vegetables and fruit.
"Now the government has withdrawn its financial support from these projects, resulting the purpose behind to establish these madies is defeating and putting the farmers and trader community in lurch", said sources.
However, in phase-I, nine satellite markets were established at Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Chari-Sharief, Handwara, Batingoo, and Udhampur, Akhnoor Phase-I first and Kathua wherein Kathua and Udhampur market are fully functional and farmer community are getting the benefit while Akhnoor market is not shifted in newly constructed market.
Moreover, the land has been acquired for second phase of Akhnoor, Poonch and Doda market but now government suddenly withdrawal financial assistance under Centrally Sponsored Scheme, has been putting the projects in oblivion.