Stopping truckloads of fruit on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway has taken a heavy toll on Asia’s second largest Fruit Mandi in Sopore, with the Mandi administration claiming they have suffered losses of around Rs 500 crore in just a month of September.
Kashmir apple collapse
Chairman of the buyers’ association, Fruit Mandi Sopore Mudasir Ahmed Bhat, said that the stoppage of trucks along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway results in a loss of around Rs 500 crore for producers, buyers and distributors in the month. September only.
He said, that a buyer suffers a loss of Rs 4-5 lac per truck as the authorities are unnecessarily stopping trucks and it seems they deliberately want them to suffer. “Who is going to pay the losses,” asked Mudasir.
“If the situation doesn’t change and the trucks will not be allowed to pass, we will go on the hunger strike and the government will be responsible for that.”
“We have 8,000 trucks carrying apples worth 100 million rupees (1 billion rupees, or about $12.25 million) stranded on the road for the past two weeks,” said Bashir Ahmad Basheer, head of the Trade Union. Producers and Distributors of Fruits of the Kashmir Valley.
“Apples are the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy, but they are perishable items. The government is just giving us empty guarantees. Everyone associated with the craft is anxious and depressed.”
Fruit industry suffered heavy loss
Similarly, President of Fruit Mandi Sopore Fayaz Ahmed Malik said that the fruit industry is falling apart as it has suffered heavy losses for the past few years and the government must at least ensure the smooth movement of fruit. the fruit trucks so that the products reach the markets on time. “You’ll get a good rate,” he said.
Malik said they were hopeful their matter would be taken seriously as they met with the chief secretary, as well as the government passing instructions to allow truckloads of fruit, but they do not understand why the authorities are not taking any action. heavy footsteps on the ground level.
Malik, however, blames SSP Traffic Shabir for the losses. “Claiming traffic jam reasons, the SSP is not allowing the passage of our trucks, although vehicles are allowed to enter the valley,” he added.
Malik, however, urged the administration to take immediate necessary steps to transport truckloads of fresh fruit on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway without any hindrance.
Political parties slam Govt
Mehbooba Mufti, the region’s former prime minister, accused the administration of “deliberately holding truckloads of fruit for days on end and causing massive losses.”
“It seems the administration is hell-bent on making every resident and community in (Jammu and Kashmir) suffer miserably,” she tweeted.
Peoples Conference (PC) Chairman Sajad Gani Lone in a series of tweets, said, “The stranding of fruit-laden vehicles in the context of an extremely hard policy during the last 3 years and total detachment from masses will raise questions.
“Horticulture is the heart of Kashmiri’s rural economy. The apple horticulturists are not asking for a dole or a government job. They are requesting an efficient transport system. This should be a matter of right in any civilised country.”
National Conference (NC) Secretary General Ali Muhammad Sagar also expressed resentment at the stoppage of truckloads of fruit on the highway, saying the unnecessary stops were causing huge losses to the fruit growers and traders involved in the horticulture sector.
He said that transportation had become a major problem and the government had not implemented anything concrete in this regard.
With inputs from agencies
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