To facilitate horticulturists and farmers get better remuneration for their produce, the state government will set up cold stores in various parts of the state.
This was disclosed by chief minister Virbhadra Singh while speaking at the closing ceremony of the 15th all-India volleyball and kabaddi championship at Kotkhai in Shimla district, organised by the Kotkhai Environment Sports and Culture Club on Saturday.
The chief minister said the state government was committed to the welfare of farmers and horticulturists of the state.
He said despite bumper apple produce this year, the horticulturists, however, could not reap the profits as desired. He said there was a need to strengthen the marketing network and adopt modern infrastructure.
The state government was serious in taking appropriate steps in this direction and would set up cold stores so that the produce might have longevity and fetch them better prices, he added.
Singh appealed to the horticulturists for better understanding of marketing strategy and trends.
He said as the horticulturists sold their produce in the markets at Delhi and other terminal markets in large quantity, which resulted in surplus accumulation of apple in these markets, resulted in low prices for their produce.
Singh said despite heavy rain, the government had been successful in maintaining the roads in the apple belt, especially the Theog-Hatkoti road.
The Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road would be completed in two phases with financial assistance of World Bank and the project would be completed in two years, he said.
The chief minister said the state government was according priority to the education sector and a large number of schools had been opened besides those which were denotified by the previous BJP government.
Adding that apart from various schools, a college had also been opened in Kotkhai, he appealed to the people to give education to their children in these schools as highly qualified teachers had been placed in these institutions.
The state government had provided all basic facilities such as roads, drinking water and irrigation facilities and power in every area of Jubbal and Kotkhai constituencies.
The chief minister announced construction of spectators' gallery and a stage in the Kotkhai stadium. He also directed the PWD authorities to construct rooms in the basement of the stadium.
He announced to open an ayurvedic dispensary in Nagan and upgrade Tau middle school to high school.
The chief minister also directed to expand the area of the Kotkhai bus stand for adequate parking facility and to remove high transmission power line near helipad.
Singh lauded the efforts of Environment, Sports and Culture Club, Kotkhai, for promoting its activities. He gave away prizes to the winning teams.
The Border Security Force team was adjudged first in volleyball followed by Haryana. They were given cash prize of Rs 51,000 and Rs 31,000, respectively.
The chief minister gave the first prize of Rs 25,000 in the kabaddi competition to the Punjab Police team and second prize of Rs 15,000 to Nalagarh Dabhota players.
Himachal Pradesh Sports, Culture and Environment Association chairman Vikramaditya Singh said the state government was giving priority to the welfare of the youth of the state and thanked the chief minister for gracing the occasion. He said the state government was ensuring 70% employment to the Himachali youth in various power projects and industries being set up in the state.