Makeover of India’s biggest flower market at Ghazipur set to begin in August
New Delhi: The shabby stalls and the grimy bylanes of the famous Ghazipur flower mandi in Delhi are set to make way for a sprawling trading-cum-tourist spot in a facelift for the country’s biggest flower market.
After lying in abeyance for nearly eight years, work on the redevelopment of the Ghazipur flower market will begin in August, according to officials familiar with the development. The market, visited by retailers, florists, wedding planners, event managers, and sometimes tourists, currently operates out of temporary sheds in the lanes within the market and some even spilling outside onto the main highway. Because of its proximity to the Ghazipur landfill side and the nearby fish and poultry wholesale market, stench is a perennial problem that visitors and traders face.
When the redevelopment project is completed, the market will have a four-storey building with a basement. The scheduled deadline is December 2020. Spread across 10 acres with an estimated cost of R 120 crore, the new building will also include an air-conditioned flower exhibition centre.
“The exhibition centre will be built in such a way that people are able to see the flowers while they travel in the upcoming metro stations in and around Patparganj. Currently, the space is disorderly and underutilised. The project’s aim is to make it not only traders’ friendly but also attract tourists,” said Garima Gupta, vice-president of the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board (DAMB).
With nearly 58,000 kg of flowers being traded daily, Ghazipur is India’s biggest flower market with at least 50 varieties of flowers being imported and exported. Apart from states like Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh, flowers such as protea, banksia and ilex find their way to this market from countries like New Zeleand, the Netherlands, South Africa and Thailand. The average annual turnover of the flower market is ₹250 crore, accroding to DAMB data.
India exported 22,000 metric tonnes of floriculture products worth of Rs.547 crore ($ 82 m) in 2016-17, as per the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) data . Major export destinations were the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates
Vijay Singh, chairman of the flower market, said there are 420 licensed flower traders and all of them will be accommodated in the new building. “Shop-cum-office spaces will be provided to all the traders for which they will have to pay a fee. Currently, DAMB is holding meetings with the traders to discuss the funding pattern,” Singh said.
He added that the building will also have a basement with space for parking vehicles and a cold storage with lockers to store flowers. “Once the market is modernised, the average annual revenue is expected to cross ₹400 crore. The market is already the biggest in the country in terms of turnover,” Singh said.
Explaining the reasons for delay in implementing the project, Gupta said the project plan was stuck with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) since 2010. “After approval from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, building plans were sent to the DDA. But, instead of releasing the layout plans, DDA raised a demand for Rs. 39.24 crore in 2013 as composition fee,” she said.
Finally, in a meeting held in April, the DDA agreed to waive off the fee and assured of released the building plans, she said.
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