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Officials told to give modern market to municipality

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New facility: A view of modern vegetable market complex which is likely to be thrown open to the public soon.—
New facility: A view of modern vegetable market complex which is likely to be thrown open to the public soon.—

Special Correspondent

It was constructed on municipal land

Marketing Department asks municipality to pay Rs 7 crore

People were suffering for want of amenities in the old market

ONGOLE: District Collector, K.Devanand, here today directed the Marketing Department to hand over the modern vegetable market complex constructed in Vura tank to the municipality immediately and thereby solved the problem that has been hanging fire for more than three years.

He was acting on the instructions given by the Chief Minister, Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy during his visit to Ongole on July 1 that the vegetable market complex should be handed over to the municipality pending resolution of financial disputes between municipal and marketing departments.

Oral instructions

The agricultural market committee constructed a spacious vegetable market complex with all amenities like pucca shops, roads, street lights, godown facilities etc at a cost of Rs. 7 crore.

But it constructed the complex on seven acres of prime land belonging to the municipality without getting the land transferred to it. It acted in haste following oral instructions of the then TDP Minister for Marketing, Damancharla Anajaneyulu and MP, Karanam Balaramakrishna Murthi.

Stalemate

But after completion of construction, the municipality contended that the market was constructed on its prime land worth Rs. 7 crore and wanted the market committee to hand over the market complex to it for maintenance which was its prerogative leading to a dispute.

Marketing Department on the other hand contended that it had borrowed funds from Guntur market yard for construction.

So it demanded the municipality to pay Rs. 7 crore and take over the complex leading to a stalemate.

Though Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy inaugurated the complex two years ago, it was not put to use till now.

Even as the file shuttled between municipal and marketing departments, the vegetable market complex remained redundant and began to rust. People continued to suffer for want of facilities in the old market.

A boost

The municipality had proposed to borrow Rs. 3.5 crore from the State Bank of Hyderabad and pay the balance in four or five annual instalments and raise funds by auctioning shops in the new market.

It has now got a boost in its arm as the District Collector directed the Marketing Department to hand over the complex to the municipality pending settlement of the financial disputes involved at Hyderabad.


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