#Day33: Priya Reviews Horticulture Department, Visits Mubarak Mandi Complex



Priya Sethi reviwed functioning of Horticulture department in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Priya Sethi reviewed functioning of Horticulture department in Srinagar on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Horticulture, Education & Culture, Ms Priya Sethi, chaired a meeting at the Civil Secretariat Wednesday to review the functioning of the Horticulture Department.

Appreciating the efforts of the Horticulture Department in promoting J&K as a premier fruit-producing destination, the Minister called for coordinated efforts in organizing awareness camps and programmes for fruit growers and budding entrepreneurs under the aegis of various departmental schemes, an official spokesperson said this evening.

She also stressed upon preparing the youth under Skill Development initiatives.

Earlier, Secretary Horticulture gave a detailed presentation about the working of the department and the important issues confronting the Department, which has been recently created as independent Administrative Department.

Director Horticulture (P&M) informed the meeting that around 70-80 trucks laden with apples and other fruit are proceeding to Delhi on a daily basis, besides 593 trucks of both fresh and dry fruit have already moved to the union capital between August 1 and 8, 2016.

However, after 15 September, the requirement of trucks for transportation of apples from Mandis would be 500-600 trucks per day.

Briefing the Minister about new technical interventions, Director Horticulture, Kashmir said that high-density apple plants have been imported and stored after inspection in CA conditions.

The Minister was given a detailed account of the releases and authorization under Capex Budget and proposal submitted under MIDH and other Centrally-sponsored schemes. She was informed that PMDP Plan for Rs 500 crore for restoration of flood-affected areas, development of horticulture and up-gradation of Mandis at Jammu & Kashmir is under active consideration of the Union Government.

The Minister emphasized the need for one-time investment for up-gradation of Mandis at Sopore, Parimpora and Narwal besides, making functional Apni Mandis, especially in Jammu Division

During the meeting, the Minister also reviewed the progress of Mango and Apple Villages, which are coming up at Jammu & Kashmir divisions.

She expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved in Mango village and directed efforts be made for further value addition through fruit processing by involving women entrepreneurs. Regarding setting up of an Apple village in Islamabad, the Minister called for concerted efforts towards its establishment without any further delay.

She was also informed about the two Centres of Excellence under MIDH, one each at Jammu and Kashmir, and the same have already been incorporated in the Action Plan for which global tenders shall be floated soon.

Secretary Horticulture informed the chair that Whatsapp Groups under the name of “Horticare” have been created and departmental website at the Secretariat level is under preparation, which will have linkages with all directorates.

The application, he said  will help in coordinating the efforts of various wings of the Department and provide a platform to field offices, farmers and growers for updating themselves about various schemes and technical knowhow.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Tourism, Education and Culture, Priya Sethi visited Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex and took stock of the damages to a structure at the site due to rains.

The Minister took a round of the complex and reviewed the on-going restoration works and asked the concerned agencies to take the requisite measures to prevent further damages.

Priya Sethi visited Mubarak Mandi Complex in Jammu on Wednesday.
Priya Sethi visited Mubarak Mandi Complex in Jammu on Wednesday.

Expressing grave concern over the delay in the restoration works being carried out by ASI, the Minister asked for ascertaining other viable options and involving some other technical agencies which can press more manpower and resources to ensure time bound completion of restoration works.

Hinting out at the previous regime for not optimally utilising the Rs 250 crore funds allocated for the restoration works of Mubarak Mandi complex, Priya Sethi said that this callous attitude has adversely affected the pace of restoration works.

She directed the concerned executing agency to put in concerted efforts so that pristine glory of this heritage monument is restored at an earliest.

Taking a serious note of the status of the Sheesh Mahal and its roof work, the Minister said that it is painful that that these historical monuments were used as government offices robbing them of their grandeur

The Minister said that present government is committed to preserve the heritage sites of the state which are a part of our cultural identity.

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