City Corporation’s reluctance to allot land is causing the delay

A two-year-old initiative of a cooperative society to open 14 more outlets of vegetables and fruits here is in limbo, thanks to the Mangalore City Corporation’s reluctance to allot the required land. It was on April 20, 2011 that the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society Ltd. (Hopcoms) sought land from the civic body for its planned new outlets. It submitted a list of 14 places along with the sketches of outlets, to the corporation.

Following this, the then Director of the Department of Horticulture P. Hemalatha in her letter dated October 15, 2011 requested the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada to allocate the land. Later the then Deputy Commissioner in his November 8, 2011 letter to the then Commissioner of the MCC asked the corporation to allocate the land required.

“We have approached the corporation several times seeking land. But (there was) no use,” said president of the DK and Udupi Hopcoms Laxminarayana Udupa.

Manager of Hopcoms Ravindra Shetty said the Karnataka Horticultural Federation (KHF) had sanctioned Rs. 40 lakhs to the society, which would suffice to open 10 outlets at the cost of Rs. 4 lakh per store. The remaining could be opened using other funds. Mr. Shetty said that when Mangalore City South MLA J.R. Lobo opened the renovated outlet of the society at Karangalpady earlier this month, the society submitted to him a memorandum seeking land to open 10 new outlets. Based on this, the Revenue Officer of the corporation, on July 22, 2013 wrote that the society has not mentioned the places where land was required, though a list had been submitted two years ago. The Revenue Officer’s letter said that the civic body would ascertain if land was available and if so, it would submit a proposal to the Administrative Officer (Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada) of the corporation to sanction the land.

Managing Director of Hopcoms Joe Pradeep D’Souza said the society would further pursue the matter with the civic body.

MCC Commissioner S. Ajith Kumar Hegde said, “A policy decision will have to be taken. We have to see if land is available in those places. If available, the council will have to take a decision on allotting land. The council will formally come into existence after the election of Mayor.”

Mr. Shetty said that after losing three of its outlets at Bejai Kapikkad, Surathkal and Hampankatta for road widening, the society now had nine outlets in the city.

Proposed outlets list

The list of 14 places where the DK and Udupi HOPCOMS wants to open its vegetable and fruit outlets is as follows:

Near A.J. Hospital; Kapikkad; Pumpwell Circle; near Mangaladevi temple; Yeyyadi; Kadri Park; Kavoor; near Infosys at Kottara; Kodical Katte; Kuloor; Naguri; and Vamanjoor Circle; near Bejai church; near Ramakrishna Hostel at Lalbagh.

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