Panchkula, September 21
The decision of the Haryana Government to set up an apple mandi on the 78 acres of the HMT land acquired from Haryana State Industry Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) seems to have proved wrong as farmers are not showing any interest in bringing their produce to the market.
The Panchkula Market Committee had built the apple mandi by taking a loan of Rs 47 crore at an interest rate of 8 per cent from other market committees of the state. Now, neither traders nor farmers are coming to the market, due to which the committee is not getting any income and hence, does not have money to pay the interest on the loan.
Shivalik Vikas Manch president Vijay Bansal has now sent memoranda to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Surjewala, said land at Milkh and Mohabbatpur villages was acquired in 1962 for industrial use. The land was acquired for setting up the HMT factory and, therefore, an inquiry should be initiated an apple mandi was built on it. He demanded demolition of structures on the 78 acres of the HMT land acquired without the change of land use (CLU) only for setting up the apple mandi.
Bansal said the BJP government had claimed to provide employment to more than 10,000 people after the establishment of the apple mandi. He said the decision of the government to build the mandi had been opposed by the manch and the HMT Bachao Sangharsh Samiti by showing black flags to the Chief Minister when he visited the market in November 2018.
He said lakhs of people of the area were now forced to go to the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh to work at low wages in the factories of Baddi, Barotiwala and Parwanoo.
Bansal said the government could have set up a project on the HMT land to manufacture weapons and other equipment of the Defence Department to recover the losses of the HMT factory. Since the closure of the factory seven years ago, the state government had suffered a direct loss of about Rs 300 crore, he added.
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