SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Saturday expressed dismay over the sorry state of affairs on National highway saying the government must not only ensure smooth flow of fruit laden trucks along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway but also control transportation charges.
The stoppage of Fruit laden trucks on Srinagar –Jammu highway for last several days set in a worrying trend as the horticulture sector in Kashmir has already incurred huge losses in last two years on various accounts, said party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar.
“The continuous stoppage of fruit laden trucks loaded from various Mandis of Kashmir has led to the huge losses to them and other perishable commodities. Besides it has created scarcity of various commodities in Kashmir. Amidst all this mayhem the incumbent government and the divisional administration has again been caught napping. The problem of incessant log-jams, blockages and traffic stoppages only adds to the fruit grower’s trouble, which includes sales of substandard pesticides, fertilizers, and lack of cold storage facilities. The fruit industry in Kashmir it goes without saying is undergoing a crisis due to the clampdown post August 5th measures last year, followed by unseasonal snowfall on November 07 last year,” he said.
While impressing upon the government to devise a plan to prevent the local horticulture industry from collapsing, Imran said the situation on the national highway connecting Kashmir with rest of the country is getting messier with each passing day.
He also said the newly announced fair subsidy for air transportation for notified vegetables and fruits from Himalayan states to any place in the country was yet to see light of day. “The air subsidies are subject to frequent changes and cannot provide long term relief to farmers and horticulturalists. Fruits like Cherry, Plum and Peach have not been covered under the freight subsidy scheme applied to Jammu and Kashmir. This selective approach will not provide succour to farmers. The best way to deal with the situation is by upgrading the Srinagar-Jammu highway, ensuring hassle free traffic on it and developing Mughal road as an all-weather alternative to Srinagar -Jammu highway,” he said.