MIRPUR (AJK) -  Three cold storages for hoarding various edibles have been unearthed while the divisional administration ordered to immediately disband the so-called wholesale fruit and vegetable market at Naangi in Mirpur City ending the long hegemony of an only family.

According to an official handout issued by Mirpur Divisional office of the Press Information Department of AJK government on Wednesday, the Div. Commissioner issued these orders after the massive complaints of artificial shortage of the commodities (fruit and vegetables) through their hoarding besides exceptional profiteering during the holy month in Mirpur city and rest of the district allegedly on the part of the private owners of the aforesaid market.

The owners of the city’s only main wholesale fruit and vegetable market were allegedly involved in disallowing the outsider wholesale dealers on the premises of the market.

They were also found involved in hoarding the fruit and vegetables in the cold storages located at secret places in various parts of the city aimed at selling the products according to their own choice at exorbitant  rates against the prices fixed by the district administration.

By taking stringent action against said immoral, unwarranted and unlawful activities by the Mirpur central wholesale fruit and vegetable market owners, Div. Commissioner Muhammad Tayyeb ordered administrator of Municipal Corporation Mirpur to immediately establish an alternative wholesale fruit and vegetable market in New Mirpur city or elsewhere in the existing city by immediately  disbanding the so-called wholesale fruit and vegetable market.

The official handout said that the Divisional Commissioner took the step  after the massive public complaints against the lack of neat and clean market system in the central wholesale fruit and vegetable market at Naangi shopping center following the hegemony of 16 persons belonging to the same whole-sellers group running the central wholesale vegetables den by charging the money of their own choice from  the small shopkeepers.

The group of whole sellers had emerged as the profiteers mafia in the name of the whole sellers fleecing the innocent people with exorbitant rates of their own choice securing  the market located on state land of highly valuable at prime location of Naangi shopping centre for many decades.

According to the general public complaints, these whole sellers/mafia controlling the existing central fruit and vegetable market had put retailers/small shopkeepers in mortgage by giving them the products in the shape of mark up or on pending payment system compelling them to sell the products on excessive rates in retail prices.

When contacted, local duty magistrate and Naib Tehsildar Mirpur Imran Yousaf disclosed that three of the cold storages, filled with hoarded items including fruit and vegetables,  have been unearthed at  certain secret locations in the city. He said that higher authorities have been informed about the existence of the huge quantity of the hoarded fruit and vegetables in these cold storages, for further necessary action.

To a question, Imran Yousaf said that an extensive drive is underway by the administration to wipe out profiteers and hoarders to ensure the return of the sky-touching prices of the commodities of daily use including fruit vegetable, meat (including mutton and beef) at the officially fixed prices of the commodities.