Zafar Manhas chairs DRSC meeting

JAMMU: A meeting of Department Related Standing Committee-IV of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council on Horticulture Department was held here today under the Chairmanship of MLC, Zafar Iqbal Manhas.

Legislators, Surinder Kumar Choudhary, Saif-ud-Din Bhat and Showkat Hussain Ganai were also present in the meeting.

The Committee reviewed functioning of Horticulture Department while Secretary Horticulture Department, MH Malik gave a detailed Power Point Presentation regarding the functioning of the department. He informed the Committee that the department gives focused attention to this sector which is the basic purpose of the establishment of the horticulture department.

Regarding the filling up of the vacancies in the department, he said the vacant posts are being referred to the recruiting agencies and process to fill up promotion quota posts is underway.

The meeting was informed that the department has exported 14.79 lakh MTs fresh walnut during 2015-16 valuing approximately Rs 6000 crore while the area under fruits cultivation has increased from 2.95 lakh hectares to 3.38 lakh hectares.

The meeting was also informed that against revised outlay of Rs 108 crore in 2015-16, Rs 82.80 cr was released out of which Rs 74.30 crore was spent. Similarly for 2016-17, against an approved Action Plan of Rs 84.89 crore, Rs 28 crore was released till ending January 2017.

The Committee informed that two Centres of Excellence (CoE) one each at Jammu and Kashmir has been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 7.84 crore and Rs 9.02 crore respectively. The CoEs would have facilities for production of high quality fruit plants, micro irrigation, high-tech greenhouse technology, tissue culture labs, bio-control labs and weather forecasting stations etc.

The Chairman directed the concerned department to aware the farmers through awareness camps regarding the plantation drive and other relevant information about the schemes of the department so they could get benefitted from the schemes executed by the department.

He informed the department has 138 nurseries in the state out of which 56 are accredited including 70 nurseries in Kashmir Division and 68 nurseries in Jammu Division. He informed that 80 nurseries will be upgraded under PMDP in next three years.

The Committee was also informed that 40 ha area under private sector and 10 ha under public sector shall be covered during current financial year for High Density Apple Plantation Scheme. It was stated that 1.21 lakhs apple plants valuing Rs 5.56 cr imported from Italy and planted for post entry quarantine conditions at CITH, SKUAST-K & ACHD, Zainapora shall be distributed/planted in next planting season.

Secretary Horticulture department informed that in order to cater the demands of North East, one Cold Store and one Kissan Ghar are under construction at Kolkata with the project cost of Rs 6.24crore.

He said the department is exploring possibility of establishment of CA stores under PPP mode in four terminals Fruit and Vegetable Markets. He said 11 CA stores have been proposed under PMDP starting from 2017-18 in Public and Private Sector while for setting up of a CA at Parmipora Mandi, land hypothetication issue is pending with the Department of Law. He informed the Committee that pesticide laboratories would be established within next two months in the state.


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