Shimla: Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister Himachal Pradesh, has urged the Planning Commission of India, to sanction a special package of Rs. 121 crore to the State to take up the dedicated horticulture road construction project to connect the upcoming modern agriculture and horticulture produce marketing complex at Parala, near Theog, in district Shimla with different terminal markets outside the State including biggest Delhi markets. In a latter written to Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Vice Chairman, Planning Commission of India, he wrote that the upcoming modern marketing yard at Parala was the first of its kind in the State which was being developed in the apple growing area and benefitting apple, other fruits and vegetable growers to sell their produce at remunerative prices to the traders visiting the venue from outside the State. He reminded of the matter which was already in the knowledge of Commission since it had been raised in the discussions held during the meeting to finalise Annual Plan for the current financial year held in Delhi on March 1, 2011 and approval in principle was granted. He said that the State Government was endeavouring to develop its own self contained marketing network to cater to the marketing requirements of the growers and save them from the middlemen as well as marketing fee being levied upon them in Delhi terminal markets.
Chief Minister said that the proposed Parala-Neripul-Sanaura-Rajgarh-Banethi-Barog-Kanshiwala (Nahan bye-pass)-Kala Amb-Shahbad-Delhi road would not only connect the Parala market with Delhi during apple season but also cater to the transportation requirements of other cash crops like ginger, garlic, potato, tomato, peas, pulses, off season vegetables and citrus fruits grown in catchment areas of Shimla, Solan and Sirmour districts round the year. He said that the road would also be beneficial to the growers of Kinnaur, some parts of Kullu and Mandi areas as well. He said that with the launching of Pandit Deen Dayal Kisaan Baagwan Samridhi Yojna, a large number of poly houses had come up where cash crops was being cultivated under controlled climatic conditions and were fetching good income to the farmers. He said that the proposed road would free from traffic jams taking place on the route road passing through Solan, Parwanoo and Kalka towns. He said that since the entire agro-horticulture produce was highly perishable and time factor was very important to get good price. He said that the proposed road would not only save the time on transportation but also distance between Parala and Delhi would also be reduced by 50 to 60 kms. He said that a survey of the proposed road had been conducted by the Public Works Department of the State and the entire project was likely to cost Rs. 121 crore solving the transportation problem of the growers for long time to come.
Prof. Dhumal wrote that the State was under heavy debt due to the adverse award of the 13th Finance Commission, implementation of 6th Pay Commission recommendations and repayment of the borrowings from different sources hence a special package of Rs. 121 crore was required to be sanctioned by the Planning Commission of India during ongoing financial year so that the alternate road project construction was undertaken on war footing. He said that the upcoming Parala Marketing Yard was being developed at a cost of Rs. 100 crore and the State Government was funding the same out of its limited resources. He said that with the construction of the alternate road the existing roads would be able to accommodate the rush of tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh and make their journey reasonably comfortable. He said that roads were the only and major mode of communication in the State.
Chief Minister urged the Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission of India to immediately sanction the package so that project work could be started on war footing for completion in a time bound manner.