‘Allow smooth movement of fruit trucks’
SOPORE, July 2: The orchardists of Sopore town on Saturday termed the suspension of movement of fruit trucks on Srinagar-Jammu national highway as ‘an unfortunate action’ on part of authorities that is bound to hit the fruit industry this year.
The fruit growers had assembled at Asia’s second largest fruit Mandi in north Kashmir’s Sopore town that falls in district Baramulla.
Pertinently, for security concerns amid the ongoing Amarnath Yatra this year, the authorities have temporarily suspended the movement of trucks on the national highway that connects Kashmir with Jammu and other parts of the country.
The protesting fruit growers asked as to why the fruit industry should suffer because of the Yatra which has otherwise been an annual routine religious affair in Jammu and Kashmir.
While talking to Kashmir Despatch, the protesting fruit growers questioned the administrative decision about suspension of movement of fruit trucks on the highway because of the movement of Amarnath pilgrims.
“These few months are the business months for the fruit industry but the government seems hardly bothered about us and instead to boost this industry it is busy in making the lives of people affiliated with the fruit industry difficult,” one of the protesting fruit grower told Kashmir Despatch, pleading anonymity.
They protesters strongly condemned the curbs put on the movement of fruit laden trucks saying that Amarnath Yatra is not being conducted for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The fruit industry has already suffered much because of the turmoil and the inclement weather. Instead of easing out our sufferings, the government seems hell bent to create hard times for us,” the protesting orchardists observed.
They urged the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha to intervene in the matter and order smooth and hassle free movement of fruit trucks so that the yield is saved from being perished mid way,” they remarked.
President Fruit Growers Association, Fayaz Ahmad Malik while welcoming the Yatris appealed to the LG led Government to think about lakhs of families who are directly or indirectly linked with the fruit industry in Kashmir.
“Earlier this industry, like other sectors, suffered to the hilt because of COVID pandemic. Now when we resume our activities, the government has started putting restrictions on us,” he added.
Pertinently, the annual Amarnath Yatra began on Thursday after two years due to COVID pandemic.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has said adding, “The endeavour is to make sure that the pilgrims feel secure and visit the shrine peacefully.”