KD NEWS SERVICE
SRINAGAR, Nov 23: After two decades, the Fruit and Vegetable Market in Kanispora area of Baramulla has finally become functional.
An official said the government acquired 45 kanals of land in early 2000 following which work for establishment of Mandi started. “Even additional 26 Kanals of land were acquired by the horticulture planning and marketing department for the Mandi but it failed to take off till this year,” he said.
The official said the government had earmarked the site for shops in 2010 onwards and they were also allotted to many applicants through a lottery. “Around 20 shop sites were allotted to different traders and orchardists in 2015. The work on mandi was going at a good pace but there was no breakthrough in the last 20 years for unknown reasons,” he said.
A wide macadamised approach road welcomes one to the premises of the Baramulla fruit and vegetable Mandi where the government has constructed a few shops as well.
“Even LED lights were installed at the Mandi long ago so that the people can run their business 24 hours but there was no response to it,” he said.
Besides site shops and other facilities, the government has established one administration block which will be used for the office of area marketing officer and assistant grading officer of horticulture, planning and marketing department.
The Mandi has an overhead water storage and underground water facility as well. “The mandi has each and every facility ready but the trade did not start so early at this Mandi,” the official said.
Once the Mandi becomes fully functional, it is expected that it can be linked through railways to other Mandis of other states to give a boost to the horticulture sector in J&K particularly north Kashmir.
“Because the Mandi is located very close to the Baramulla Railway station so it can be linked with other Mandis easily if at all the trades start there,” the official said.
The Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing Vikas Sharma said the Mandi was made functional from the current season with all efforts of the department. “The trade has started at the Mandi and we are expecting it to grow further in coming times,” Sharma said.