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Demand for farmers’ market

Tura, Feb. 8: The Meghalaya government has drawn sharp criticism over the abandoned farmers’ market at Chibinang in West Garo Hills, about 120km from here.

The market was inaugurated by chief minister Mukul Sangma in the presence of Speaker Abu Taher Mondal, who is the local MLA and was then the transport minister, in May 2011.

The present market at Chibinang by the roadside creates chaos because of heavy traffic flow. The need for a farmers’ market was considered by the government under public pressure. The area is rich in agricultural produce and the government decided to set up a cold storage with a shed and toilet facilities. The project, even after completion, remains abandoned.

A youth activist, Bappun Sangma, said: “It is wastage of public money. We really do not understand why it has been kept abandoned.”

Sofiqul Rahman, a vegetable vendor at Chibinang market said, “I do not know why it has not been made operational. We request the authorities to open the market.”

Musadik Hussain, a senior citizen, said: “It will be of great help to the people and vegetable vendors.”

The president of the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People, Phulbari unit, Tripon Sangma, said, “We have drafted a memorandum, urging the chief minister and the Speaker for use of the property.”

Mondal said, “We are aware of the property. We are trying to make it operational soon.” The market at Chibinang, famous for pineapples and known as the rice bowl of Meghalaya, will be a boon for the people.