Solan, June 14
Apple growers are opposing the construction work at the sub-market of the Solan-based Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), claiming it has been hampering trade activities. They have urged the authorities concerned to postpone the construction work for a few months. They say that they are unable to sell early variety of Tydeman apple as land has been dug up and they are unable to unload their produce. They claim that they have to return to the Dhalli market in upper Shimla where less rates will be offered.
Growers of stone fruits, too, express similar concerns, as they had to transport their produce back to Kotkhai in Shimla as no trader was available there.
At present, apple trade is carried out from 60 temporary sheds provided by the APMC along the Solan-Shimla highway on a two-hectare area. During rain, slush adds to the woes of traders. Since this road leads to the state capital of Shimla, it faces a huge traffic during the peak summers.
To facilitate traders, two pre-fabricated sheds comprising 12 shops each will be set up in the sub-market. Toilets, canteen and five more shops will also be constructed for apple traders. The work, which began last week, would be completed in the next nine months and Rs 9.88 crore has been set aside for this work.
APMC secretary Ravinder Sharma said, “A section of traders created an undue issue as more than 50 sheds are lying vacant from where trade activities can be taken up. Since the apple season is set to begin from July 25, we are endeavouring to provide at least 12 shops in the coming season to traders as the work has begun.”
Rubbishing the claims regarding inconvenience, he said the work had already been awarded and couldn’ be put on hold.