Govt to revive oldest fruit processing, packaging facility at Bellow


Security forces to be relocated from complex: Drabu

PULWAMA: The State Government has decided to revive the apple and walnut processing and packaging plant and cold storage facility at Bellow, Pulwama.

This was announced by the Minister for Finance, Labour, Employment and Culture, Dr Haseeb Drabu during his visit to the plant yesterday. The plant is presently under the occupation of the security forces.

The Minister was informed that the apple and walnut processing and packaging plant at Bellow, Pulwama is one of the oldest such plants of J&K Horticulture Produce and Marketing Corporation (JKHPMC), which was made functional in late 80’s. However, due to eruption of turmoil in Kashmir in early 90’s, the plant was occupied by the security forces and continues to be under their possession for the past more than two decades.

The Minister was informed that revival of the apple and walnut packaging and processing plant at Bellow would boost the economic activity in the area, which is one of the largest apple and walnut producing belt in district Pulwama.

During his visit to the plant, a large number of fruit growers and traders called on the Minister and strongly pitched for relocating the security forces from there so that it is made fully functional. They said the plant is equipped with latest machinery which can be put to productive use if the security forces are relocated from the area.

Dr Drabu assured the locals that the security forces camping in the plant would be relocated to an alternate site so that the packaging and processing plant is made functional before the next fruit season.

The Minister appreciated the cooperation of IG CRPF,  Nalin Prabhat in this regard.

During the visit, the Minister also took on-the-spot review of various development works going on the district. He asked the District Development Commissioner Pulwama to put up a proposal for establishing dedicated maternity facility in the district so that the gynecological patients are not forced to rush to Lal Ded Hospital Srinagar. He also called for expediting work on upgradation of Pulwama-Tahab-Lassipora Road to provide better connectivity to the Industrial Estate Lassipora.

DDC Pulwama,  Niraj Kumar, SSP Pulwama,  Tejinder Singh and other officers of the District Administration accompanied the Minister during his visit.

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