BELAGAVI: Condemning the move of constructing new wholesale vegetable market by Belagavi Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) authority in city, the members of Belgaum Cantonment Wholesale Vegetable Merchants Association (BCWVMA) said it’s just a waste of money and a burden to the exchequer.

District in-charge minister Satish Jarkiholi laid foundation stone to the construction of new APMC wholesale vegetable market at APMC yard premises on Monday, in the presence of MPs Suresh Angadi and Prakash Hukkeri, MLAs Ashok Pattan, Sanjay Patil and MLCs Veerkumar Patil and Mahantesh Kavatagimath. Authority has plan of constructing 183 shops in the cost of Rs 80 crores. According to APMC authorities, farmers will get fair price for their produces here.

Same minister Jarkiholi laid foundation stone to the private wholesale vegetable market of BCWVMA at Gandhi Nagar few months ago, and the construction of this market is under progress. Now the questions are being raised in public domain that is the city required two wholesale vegetable markets. If no, why APMC authority is embarking to spend such huge amount on this project?

Diwakar Patil, president of BCWVMA said “when we approached APMC authorities seeking land for vegetable market it was ignored. District administration also ditched us saying there is no land available in city. Former DC Shalini Rajanish suggested us to get purchase private land and start the market. Following the suggestion, we vendors contributed money and purchased 10 acres 28 guntas land at Gandhi Nagar. After fulfilling all legal requirements, the work is undergoing. In this stage, the same project taken by APMC is nothing but fleecing money out of the project”, he said.

Meanwhile, Patil challenged APMC authorities that it couldn’t find even 25 wholesale vendors out of around 150 vendors in city. The spending money on this project is just putting public money into water and that is the issue of concern, he said.

Secretary of BCWVMA said now there is no need of new wholesale vegetable market in city and no one demanding to the authority for same. Besides, the place identified for the project is unsuitable. Despite all, authority is making hurry to implement project just to swindle government money in the name of development.

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Source: TOI-BGLR