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Harmu’s I-Day gift

Call it an Independence Day gift for Harmu residents.

Chief minister Hemant Soren will inaugurate a much-needed daily vegetable market-cum-community hall in Harmu locality of the state capital on August 14.

Constructed by Jharkhand State Housing Board at an investment of Rs 3 crore, the three-storeyed building has come up in a 13,000sqft plot near Harmu Panch Mandir with an aim to rehabilitate local vegetable vendors who had faced the brunt of anti-encroachment drives.

While the ground and first floors house a total of 212 shops along with three washrooms, the community hall is located on the top floor.

Around the community hall, which will be let out for social functions and gatherings, there are 12 rooms of varying dimensions with attached washrooms. A kitchen and a dining hall also exist.

“Vendors displaced during anti-encroachment drives in Harmu will have to either rent the shops on buy them. The price of each shop has been fixed between Rs 1.05 lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh. The community hall will be given on a 10-year lease for which we will invite an open tender,” an official of Jharkhand State Housing Board said.

He added that proper provisions for water and power have been made at the market.

Board managing director Uma Shashi Chatterjee said: “Chief minister Hemant Soren, who had laid the foundation of the market on November 14, 2011, in the capacity of deputy chief minister, will inaugurate the facility on August 14. It will be the first-of-its-kind market in the area. Once the facility is inaugurated, the process of allotment of shops will start.”

Harmu, which has a population count of around 50,000, will no longer have to depend on the makeshift, muddy markets once the new, concrete one starts functioning. “At present, we are dependent on a makeshift market beside Harmu Panch Mandir for our vegetable needs. The existing market lacks water connection and washrooms. The shops draw power from a generator set,” said resident Uma Kant Mishra.