Nine years on, Odisha terminal market complex remains a non-starter
However, the project hit a roadblock when the firm reportedly encountered issues related to land leasing.
SAMBALPUR: Nine years have passed since the foundation stone for the proposed Terminal Market Complex at Nildungri, National Highway (NH)-53, under the Jujumura block in the district was laid in 2014, but the project has failed to take off.
The foundation stone for the project was laid by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on September 28, 2014. Touted as one of the most ambitious undertakings for Sambalpur and the western Odisha region, aiming to establish a direct link between farmers and markets by streamlining the supply chain for perishable goods, enhancing efficiency, and increasing farmers’ incomes.
As per the proposal, the complex would come up on 60 acres of land and have cold storage, warehouse, electronic weighing machines, packaging and labeling facilities, an electronic auction centre, bank, petrol stations, and parking for around 200 trucks. Slated to be implemented on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode, the estimated cost of the project was Rs 74 crore.
Official sources indicate that a Kolkata-based commodity trading house, LMJ International Limited, was initially selected to establish the terminal market complex in PPP mode. While Rs 28 crore was supposed to be provided from the National Horticulture Mission Grant, Rs 25 crore would have been contributed by LMJ International, with the remainder obtained through a bank loan.
However, the project hit a roadblock when the firm reportedly encountered issues related to land leasing. The state government had agreed to provide land on a 25-year lease to the firm, but the trading house faced difficulties in securing a bank loan for the project with only a 25-year lease. Consequently, the firm sought a 50-year lease from the state government but was unsuccessful. In light of these challenges, the firm withdrew from the project.
Questioned about the current status of the project, district collector Ananya Das said, “Funds for the project have not been allocated yet. Although tenders were issued in the past, there was no participation.”
Similarly, the deputy director of horticulture (DDH), Himashu Sekhar Sahoo, confirmed that no progress had been made on the project.
Market complex tidbits
Would benefit farmers from 10 districts under the RDC (Northern Division)
The districts include Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Sonepur, Balangir, Angul, Sundargarh and Dhenkanal
It would serve as a trading point for agricultural and horticultural products
Estimated cost of the project was Rs 74 crore