BHUBANESWAR: The Horticulture wing of the Agriculture department has sought approval from the State Government for construction of four cold storages, funds for which have been sanctioned by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has sanctioned `4.80 crore to Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation (TDCC) for construction of four cold storages of 600 tonnes capacity each in the State.
Having no technical manpower and expertise for construction of cold storage, the Corporation had requested the Horticulture wing of the Agriculture department to take up the construction work.
After preparing the cost estimates, the Horticulture Directorate has approval of the Agriculture Department to float e-tender for the four projects.
Though the State Government had set a target to construct 112 cold stores of 5,000 MT capacity each in next three years, there is hardly any taker despite huge capital incentives offered by it.
In its agriculture policy, the State Government has announced 75 per cent subsidy for KBK districts and 60 per cent subsidy in non-KBK districts for construction of cold storages. Besides, it is ready to meet the design cost of the proposed cold storages.
Meanwhile, the Cooperation and Horticulture departments are preparing modalities for construction of six new cold stores under build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme. The new storage units will be located in Angul, Balasore, Baripada, Boudh, Deogarh and Keonjhar, official sources said.
The office of Registrar of Cooperative Societies has submitted a proposal to the Government for revival of seven defunct cold storages under cooperative fold. The proposal is under active consideration of the Government.
Efforts are on to revive Athagarh, Ambapua (Berhampur), Banki, Baialis Mouza, Bahugram and Jharguda cooperative cold storages.
Of 104 cold storages in the State, 87 are lying defunct. While 18 storages are under cooperative sector, the majority is owned by private organisations. Only six cooperative cold storages are functional.