Arhtiyas plan to shift base to Pinjore

Subhash Rajta

Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 25

The Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board's state-of-the-art apple and vegetable market coming up in Pinjore can lure away several arhtiyas from the state.

"Several top traders, especially from Parwanoo, Solan, Dhalli and Parala, have applied for a shop in the mandi," said NS Chaudhary, president, Arhtiya Sangh, Himachal Pradesh.

Apart from looking for new opportunities, they were looking to shift because of lack of facilities in the local mandis, he said. "There's hardly any space in our mandis. Most arhtiyas operate from 10x10 shops. The loaders buy the produce during the day and load it during the night. It's not easy to function in such conditions," said Chaudhary.

Govt insensitive

We had seen a landslide at the Bhattakuffar mandi last year. Another season of apple has started but the authorities have not removed the debris in one year and made the yard fully functional. — Trader

Facilities under one roof

The upcoming Pinjore mandi will have all facilities under one roof, including the AC marketing yards, automatic sorting and grading machines. — NS Chaudhary, Arhtiya sangh chief

"Most arhtiyas have arranged stores outside the mandis, spending lakhs, as there is no space inside. And despite paying a hefty marketing fee, they hardly get respect they deserve from the government and its officials," he said.

A trader alleges that no one is interested in creating facilities for traders and farmers in the yards.

"We had a massive landslide at the Bhattakuffar mandi last year. Another season of apple has started but the authorities have not removed the debris in one year and made the yard fully functional," he said.

Chaudhary said the upcoming Pinjore mandi would have all facilities under one roof, including the AC marketing yards, automatic sorting and grading machines, loading and unloading points, 3-storey shops with basements, etc.

"The mandi will be operational by 2022 and the authorities will most probably start allotting the plots by the year-end," he said.

Harish Chauhan, president of the Fruit, Vegetables and Flowers Association, is full of praise for the Haryana Government for constructing such a state-of-the-art mandi. "We have been asking the government to create such facility in the state as well. Not only such a world-class facility will benefit traders and farmers, but it also ensure good revenue for the government," he said.

Chauhan said the idea to have smaller yards was not practical for apple. "At smaller yards, growers don't get many buyers and that impacts the rate they get for their produce," he said.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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