|G S Asgotra|
Early Times Report
Jammu, May 15: To provide facilities to fruits growers and farmers at their door steps, the Horticulture Department in 11th Five Year Plan (FYP), had sanctioned six 'Satellite Fruit and Vegetable' markets for Jammu division, but out of six, only two satellite markets (mandi) of district, Kathua and Akhnoor will be functional by the end this year while other four are still craving for official attention, depriving the needy farmers, growers of ease of doing business.
Source in the department informed Early Times said that the former Minister of Horticulture, Floriculture and PHE, Sham Lal Sharma had announced six markets (Mandi) at Batote Doda, Bishnah Samba, Kathua, Poonch, Akhnoor, Rajoori and Udhampur but five year on, none of them had been completed.
He further informed that owing to lackadaisical approach of the department concerned, the construction of mandi was still hanging in balance and the department was unbothered about it, adding, "Rather than taking action against the contractors responsible for delaying the construction of satellite mandis, the department is busy shielding them", he said.
An employee, wishing anonymity said that the slow pace of construction of satellite fruit and vegetable markets is exposing the tall claims made by previous government adding, "The slow pace of work is affecting the fruits growers, farmers living in far-flung area of the districts, Doda, Rajouri and Kishtwar and also forcing them to sell their produce to the commission agent which are sitting in the local markets", he said.
When contacted, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Planning and Marketing Jammu said that only Udhampur satellite mandi was functioning, two would be functional by end of December.