The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Saturday expressed concern over the halting of fruit trucks from Kashmir on NH-44, saying that detaining fruit laden trucks for days together on Srinagar-Jammu highway is taking a heavy toll on the local fruit industry.
Party’s Member of Parliament from Anantnag Hassnain Masoodi, while taking strong exception to the indifferent attitude of the administration towards the plight of fruit growers and traders, said that the frequent halting of the fruit laden trucks on NH-44 is causing spoilage to the annual farm and horticultural produce from Kashmir much before it reaches different Mandis in various parts of the country.
“The fruit laden trucks carry the annual produce of our horticulturalists, who put their blood, sweat and tears into its production through the year. Administration is sitting in ivory towers and is completely unconcerned about the issues faced by the people concerned with this vocation. The administrative apparatus far from providing succor to the people associated with the trade, is hounding them at one pretext or the another. The people associated with the industry despite being ignored by the government on every account, didn’t abandon their orchards but borrowed money from banks and other sources for procurement of fertilizers and pesticides, pinning their hopes on the annual produce but the undue detention of their produce on NH-44 have made them resign to their fate,” he said.
“Previously the entire lot was left to fend for itself during the successive lock downs and clamp downs and now when the people involved with this sector are picking up on their own, we have such undue curbs and procedures in place that makes the revival of our horticulture industry a farfetched dream,” he further said adding that he would take up the issue with the Union Minister of Road, Transport and highways Nitin Gadkari on his forthcoming visit to Kashmir.
Masoodi while decrying the mismanagement of traffic on NH-44 said that he has been taking the issue of ensuring smooth movement of traffic, particularly the supply trucks, tourists vehicles and trucks ferrying the annual produce from Kashmir both inside and outside the parliament with the concerned ministry. “I’ve been persistent in my demand to upgrade the Mughal Road as an all-weather road round the year link between Kashmir and the rest of the country. The measure will ease off the burden from the NH-44 and also ensure swift movement of farm and horticultural produce from the valley to different parts of the country,” he said. (KNS)