No progress on Hosur’s proposed international flower auction market

The site of the international flower auction market at Moranapalli village in Hosur.

The site of the international flower auction market at Moranapalli village in Hosur.   | Photo Credit: N_Bashkaran

The project continues to be dogged by allegations that vested interests are stalling it

Eight months after Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced an international flower auction centre in Hosur, a major flower producing and exporting hub in the country, the location and the status of the project is shrouded in opacity.

Mr. Palaniswami had announced the setting up of the flower auction market at a cost of ₹20.26 crore. It was to be implemented by the Agriculture Marketing and Agri Business Department (AMABD). The market, according to farmers, will revamp the existing middlemen-trader dominated pricing system and align prices to global demand, keeping them updated with real-time fluctuations.

At present, Hosur’s flower growers rely on the prices fixed by traders citing hyperlocal demand, even while the prices may be higher elsewhere in the country.

A 7.67 acre land was identified in Moranapalli village on Hosur-Krishnagiri National Highway (NH) and an informal plan layout was made six months ago.

Simultaneously, another land on Bagalur Road, located in the neighbourhood of former Minister Balakrishna Reddy, was also identified. But the Bagalur land, while poramboke (belonging to the government) on record, is under litigation. “It is our ancestral land with 20 coparceners (persons with equal rights) but wrongly marked as poramboke,” said Siva, the litigant. “I submitted a petition to the Tahsildar along with the court order which directed the Settlement Office and other officials to make inquiry and issue patta. Now it is with the Settlement Office,” he said.

According to a source in the AMABD, the Moranapalli land was selected, and they were told last week by the Hosur Tahsildar Senthil Kumaran that the proposal had been prepared and forwarded. “We are hopeful the land will be sanctioned this week,” the official said.

“The proposal has been prepared and sent to the DRO (District Revenue Officer), after which the land will be inspected and the Collector’s orders passed,” he added.

However, when contacted, Collector S. Prabhakar, taking details on the project from his assistant, said, “I don’t remember the name of the village, but the site is on the National Highway. The file is under circulation and the Government Order is awaited, after which tenders will be floated.”

But Mr. Senthil Kumaran, whose proposal is key to the progress of the project, contradicted both the Collector’s statement and AMABD’s claims. Asked to name the site of the project, he said: “There were 2-3 locations and [there is] no clarity on the land as yet. I am yet to prepare the proposal.”

But when told about the Collector’s understanding, Mr. Kumaran said he needed to “discuss with his higher officials” and refused to entertain more questions.

District Revenue Officer Shanti did not respond to messages asking if she had inspected the land and if there was merit in allegations that there was an attempt to get the project located at the hometown of Mr. Reddy.

‘Not decided’

When contacted, Mr. Reddy dismissed accusations of any lobbying. “There are two or three locations, and where ever land is available, the auction market will come there. It [the site of the market] is not decided yet.”

Asked specifically if he had made any representation for Bagalur, Mr. Reddy said the market would come up in Hosur because Hosur has flowers.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:50:18 AM |

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