'Work on Himachal's biggest marketing yard on'
Work on the biggest marketing yard in Himachal Pradesh to help apple and other fruit growers is on and it will be completed within its timeframe, an official said here Saturday.
"The work on Parala marketing yard (in Upper Shimla) has been taken up on priority by the government and it will be completed in a time-bound manner," Himachal Pradesh Marketing Board chairman Subhash Manglet said in a statement.
He said around Rs.4 crore has been spent on different works during the last one and a half years and Rs.1.5 crore would be released soon for roofing work.
The chairman said the present state government was committed to safeguard the interests of the fruit growers and all effective measure were being taken to provide them best infrastructural and marketing facilities.
Slamming BJP leader and former two-time horticulture minister Narender Bragta, he said the statement of Bragta in which he has claimed that the funds allotted by the previous BJP government for the marketing yard have been diverted.
"The previous BJP government had laid the foundation stone of this yard just to take political mileage and announced to give Rs.100 crore for its construction. But, the fact was that the previous government did not make provision of funds in the budget for the yard," Manglet said.
He said Rs.5.25 crore was released by the central government under the Rashtriya Krishi Yojana in 2010-11 for this ward, whereas Rs.8 crore was provided by Agro Produce Marketing Committee of Shimla.
The foundation stone of the marketing yard at Parala in the heart of the apple belt near Theog in Shimla district was laid by then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in November 2010.
The yard would also have cold storage facility.
Apple is the main fruit crop of the state and is grown in nine out of the 12 districts.
Besides apple, other fruits like pear, peach, cherry, apricot, kiwi, strawberry, olive, almond and plum are the major commercial crops of the state.
(Posted on 26-07-2014)