The district administration officially opened a new wholesale market in Rawat on Sunday. The inauguration, led by Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha, introduced the vegetable and fruit market, established near Chak Belly More in the Rawat Union Council area. However, this initiative has stirred controversy, with some traders expressing concerns that it more closely resembles a ‘sasta bazaar’ (cheap market) rather than a genuine wholesale market.
Wholesale Market in Rawat Details
The vegetable and fruit wholesale market in Rawat occupies a substantial area, spanning 20 kanals. The land was secured on lease for one year, with a monthly cost of Rs 400,000. Initially, 48 plots were designated within the market. These plots are managed by the market committee and are intended for commission agents operating in any fruit and vegetable market.
During the inauguration, Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha emphasized that the wholesale market would be fully operational starting from Monday (today). He stated that the establishment of the vegetable and fruit market aligns with the public and farmer-friendly initiatives of the caretaker chief minister.
Other officials present at the event, including Agriculture Special Secretary Syeda Kulsoom Hai and Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Hasan Waqar Cheema, echoed the commissioner’s sentiments. They highlighted the potential benefits the market would bring to the region and its residents.
Commissioner Chatha further elaborated that the establishment of Rawalpindi’s first vegetable and fruit market would stimulate agricultural trade at the regional level, benefiting the city’s population of approximately three million. The market’s proximity to Rawat is expected to ease the supply of fruits and vegetables to the suburban and remote areas around Rawalpindi.
He stated, “The long-standing demand of the citizens of Rawalpindi has been fulfilled by establishing a vegetable and fruit market,” adding that the administration is focused on making life more convenient for the city’s residents.
Mixed Reactions by the Traders
Notably, traders in Rawalpindi have voiced concerns over the new market’s purpose. Rawalpindi Sabzi Mandi Association President Ghulam Qadir Mir asserted that the market in Rawat had been established as a ‘sasta bazaar’ on the caretaker government’s directive to cater to consumers, rather than as a genuine wholesale market for traders.
Mir expressed the belief that local traders would continue to source their fruits and vegetables from the existing market near Pirwadhai in Rawalpindi, rather than making the journey to Rawat. This highlights a gap in expectations between the administration’s vision for the market and how it is perceived by some members of the trading community.