NEW DELHI: Fruit and vegetable markets, long been associated with filth and slime, may soon get a much-needed facelift. Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf wants to give India its first world-class fruit mart. The scale of the proposed market, based on the Rungis market in Paris, is sure to astound many: the cost is expected to run into Rs 1,200 crore, and it would be spread over an area of 71 acres.
“Chaudhary Hira Singh Fruit and Vegetable market at Azadpur, Delhi, is one of the largest markets in the world. The total area of Azadpur Sabzi Mandi is 76 acres. It’s the national distribution centre for many items. 68 vegetables and 58 fruit varieties are traded in the market, though in volume terms, fruit and vegetables have a 50:50 share. Due to congestion at Azadpur market, we want to develop a new wholesale fruit market on 70.62 acres of land at Tikri-Khampur village, Narela, Delhi,” said the Civil Supplies Minister.
He added that the project is based on the historic market in Paris as it’s the world’s largest wholesale market for fresh produce, including fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, cheese and even flowers, and has seven million tenants.
Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) has floated tenders for doing a feasibility study of the project on January 25. The work on the report would be completed in three months. Following this, it would be decided whether to go for a public-private partnership (PPP) or engineering procurement construction (EPC) route. The land earmarked for the project is under the control of Delhi Agriculture Marketing Board, and DSIIDC will act as a consultant for the project.
The proposed market at Tikri will have facilities for cooling, ripening, grading, packing and waxing of fruits. Other infrastructure facilities will include big and small shops, auction sheds, cold stores, banks and ATM’s, cafeterias and fruit stalls, overnight stay facilities, toilets, administrative blocks, power back-up and water storage facility. In addition, there will be first aid facilities, chemist and stationery shops, parking for idle and loaded trucks, cars and two wheelers.
The minister further added, “The project will have a range of firsts, including online entry of all products using barcode mechanism. This way, the location of any carton of produce can be pin-pointed at any point of time. There will be mechanised warehousing and 24/7 cold-chain maintenance. A fruit auction facility would be set up on the basis of what is offered in global markets. A facility for processing, sorting and packaging of fruits will also be available. Currently, a large amount of perishables go waste due to lack of storage facilities. Once this market it set up, there will be enough space to store perishables. This way, such losses can be avoided.”