Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today performed foundation stones laying ceremonies of various projects worth Rs. 198 crore of H.P. State Agricultural Marketing Board for different parts of the State from Sabji Mandi, Dhali, Shimla through video conferencing to facilitate the farmers and horticulturists.
Jai Ram Thakur laid foundation stones of new Fruits and Vegetable Sub Markets at Menhdali (Rohru) and Shilaroo to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 20 crore each, Rs. 12.01 crore new Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market at Bandrol, upgradation and strengthening of Modern Fruits and Vegetable Market Parala to be done at a cost of Rs. 8.52 crore, upgradation and strengthening of Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market Shat by spending Rs. 5 crore, upgradation and strengthening of Main Fruits and Vegetable Market Kangani at a cost of Rs. 3.21 crore, upgrdation and strengthening of Main Fruits and Vegetable Market Poanta Sahib to be made at a cost of Rs. 5.62 crore, Rs. 2 crore upgradation and strengthening of Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market Palampur and Rs. 24.96 crore upgradation and strengthening of Terminal Market Parwanoo.
Chief Minister performed foundation stones laying ceremonies of extension of Fruits and Vegetable Market Dhali Shimla to be done at a cost of Rs. 18.86 crore, Rs. 4 crore new Block Office and Parking at Khalini, Rs.1.15 crore Interlocking Concrete Paver and U-shape drain in Main Mandi Kullu, Rs. 53 lakh for construction of 11 shops in Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market Bhuntar, Rs. 72 lakh for parking space in Fruit and Vegetable Sub Market Khegasu, Rs. 2.66 crore for kisan bhawan, retaining wall and wire creates in Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market Chauri-Bihal (Manali), Rs. 52 lakh for retaining wall and metalling work of yard in Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market Patalikuhal in Kullu district and Rs. 64 lakh for retaining wall and interlocking concrete paver of Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market Jasur in Kangra district.
Jai Ram Thakur also laid foundation stones of new multi stroyed complex in Fruits and Vegetable Sub Market Bilaspur to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 2.84 crore, Rs. 1.85 crore new food grains sub market at Majari, Rs. 52 lakh for protection wall and strengthening of Main Mandi Solan and Rs. 2.74 crore for construction of exit road, soling work in upper parcel, paring and protection work near auction platform and strengthening and improvement of old approach road in Terminal Market Parwanoo.
He said that Rs. 59.25 crore would be spent on strengthening cold chain infrastructure at Parala and pre-cooling chambers at Kharapatthar in Shimla district.
Chief Minister said that the day was an historic event to the people of the State in general and farmers in particular, when foundation stones of projects worth about Rs 200 crore were laid for Agriculture and Horticulture Produce Marketing infrastructures in different parts of the State. He said that this would go a long way in strengthening the economy of the farmers of the State as they would get better infrastructure facilities to sell their produce.
Jai Ram Thakur said that during the Corona pandemic, it was the rural economy that provided support to the overall economy of the State. He said that since about 90 per cent population of the State lives in rural area, one cannot even think of progress, without the development and welfare of these rural areas. He said that this Covid-19 pandemic has once again vindicated the fact that the farmers in real sense were the backbone of our economy, therefore, State Government was committed to provide all possible assistance to the farming community.
Chief Minister said that the State Government has ensured adequate arrangement of boxes, trays and other inputs so that the horticulturists of the State do not face any inconvenience in marketing of their produce. He said that the horticulturists got best price of Cherry this season due to the proper arrangements made by the State Government. He said that the State Government also took up the matter with Prime Minister to ensure that apple growers do not face hardship to sell their produce at New Delhi.
Jai Ram Thakur said that all the projects foundation stones of which were laid by him today would be completed within the next one and a half year. He said that all these projects on completion would go a long way in strengthening the economy of the farmers as they would get remunerative prices of their produce. He said that the State Government has also promoted natural farming in a big way. He said that the natural products were not only good for health, but also fetch better prices to the farmers.
While expressing concern over the market yard Bhattakufer, damaged due to landslide, Chief Minister asked the Marketing Board to look into the matter to restore the same at the earliest. He said that the State Government would also provide all possible help in this direction. He said that the State Government has also made adequate arrangement of labour to the horticulturists.
Chief Minister announced the Marketing Board would be allowed to construct small link roads particularly to facilitate the transportation of produce of the farmers.
Jai Ram Thakur also honoured few senior fruit agents and merchants on the occasion.
Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured that the farmers of the country lead respectable life, for which the Union Government was providing Rs. 2000 three times in a year to every farmer under the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna. He said that the Centre Government was committed to double the income of farmers by the year 2022. He said that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has been adjudged as the best performing Chief Minister of the Country, which was an honour to the people of the State.
Member of Parliament from Shimla Parliamentary constituency and State BJP President Suresh Kashyap said that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was ensuring that the pace of development does not hamper during the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that for this, the Chief Minister has decided to lay foundation stones and inaugurate developmental projects through video conferencing. He said that people of the State were fortunate to have an honest and dynamic leadership in the State in form of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. He said that the developmental schemes initiated by the State Government had transformed the lives of the people of the State.
Chairman HP State Agriculture Marketing Board Baldev Bhandari thanked the Chief Minister for laying foundation stones of 22 projects with a cost of Rs 198 crore in a single day. He said that the Marketing Board during the Covid-19 pandemic has ensured that the farmers and horticulturist get remunerative prices of their produce. He said that the Board was playing a major role in strengthening the rural economy of the State.
Chairman APMC Shimla-Kinnaur Naresh Sharma welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries on the occasion. He also detailed various activities being undertaken by the APMC.
Chairman APMC Mandi Dalip Thakur, Chairman APMC Kullu-Lahaul Spiti Amar Singh, Chairman APMC Solan Sanjiv Kashyap and MLA Bilaspur Subhash Thakur also addressed the people on the occasion through video conferencing from Mandi, Kullu, Solan and Bilaspur respectively.
President Aadti Association Harish Thakur presented vote of thanks.
MLA Balbir Verma, Chairman HIMFED Ganesh Dutt, Vice Chairperson Saksham Gudiya Board Roopa Sharma, Chairperson HP Gramin Bank Shashi Bala, Mayor Shimla Municipal Corporation Satya Koundal, Deputy Mayor Shailender Chauhan, Principal Secretary Agriculture Onkar Sharma, Secretary Horticulture Amitabh Awasthi, MD HPMC Debasweta Banik and other Officers were present at Shimla.
Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar, Health Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal, Member of Parliament Ramswaroop Sharma and Indu Goswami, Chairperson State Women Commission Daizy Thakur and other leaders joined the event through video conferencing from their respective places.