ZT News Desk

Srinagar, March 11: New Kashmir Fruit Association, Kashmir has expressed serious concern over the prolonged closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National highway and its severe impact on the horticulture industry of the state.

In a statement issued here today, the association has said that “horticulture industry is treated as the backbone of state’s economy and government functionaries are aware that the Horticulture Sector contributes a sizable share towards State GDP. The State of J&K is the single largest producer of temperate fruits.”

“It is an established fact that more than six lakh families are dependent on horticulture industry besides the job opportunities to transporters, labourers, packers etc etc are begin  made available  by the sector” NKFA further said.

Terming the that prolonged closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway from the month of January 2019 till to date as unfortunate, NKFA said that this state of affairs has now almost cracked the horticulture industry of the state with the apprehension of turning this industry into a “sick industry.”

“The Fruit Growers/ Dealers of the Valley have stored some produce of apple crop in various CA Stores of the Valley besides most of the fruit growers have also stored their apple in their own sheds for its transportation to different parts of the country”.

“In fact the trucks loaded with Apple Crop from Valley for different destinations of the Country are stopped on Various Spots of               Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for weeks together with the result entire Apple Crop gets fully damaged causing heavy losses to the Fruit Growers of the Valley who had been already hit by the Natural Disaster since last several years”, the statement further reads.

In this connection the management of this Association had an important meeting with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir on 05-03-2019 regarding   continued closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and harassment of traffic police with the Kashmir born truck drivers. Though Divisional Commissioner Kashmir gave a patient hearing and persuaded for immediate action but it is unfortunate nothing is found on ground till to date. Similarly the fresh Fruit/Vegetable Growers and Dealers arriving from Jammu and other parts of the country are also stopped by traffic personnel at Udhampur for days together. It is height of things that the traffic personnel on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway are collecting huge money in the shape of bribe from Kashmir born truck drivers besides severely and roughly beating them even then are not allowed to move forward for Valley.

We are of the opinion that the Government is bend upon to spoil the economical situation of the valley by creating continued closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway which causes heavy damages to essential commodities loaded in the trucks particularly Apple Crop loaded from Valley for outside Country and Fruits/ Vegetables from outside State to this place.

The Fruit/vegetable Growers/Dealers of the valley are extremely anxious for quick transportation of their Apple produce from Valley to respective destinations outside the State and similarly in respect of Fruits/ Vegetables arriving from outside state.

Under the circumstances explained above the Management of this Association would like to request the Government Machinery through this press release to:

  1. Immediate arrangements may be taken on war footing basis for hassle free transportation of apple crop from the valley to other parts of country with any interruption on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and even may be allowed to ply even against convoy
  2. Similarly, the fruits/vegetables arriving from Jammu/other parts of the country may also be allowed to ply on Srinagar-Jammu national highway without any interruption.
  3. Stern action as warranted under rules is initiated against corrupt traffic personnel posted at Srinagar-Jammu National Highway who is main responsible for creating a nuisance on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway particularly at Udhampur.      
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