Mubashir Aalam Wani
Shopian, Nov 13 (KNO): Amid fear and uncertainty after the killing of non-locals in parts of south Kashmir, the administration in Shopian has been working hard to ensure availability of transport facilities to the fruit growers.
Kashmir’s ‘apple bowl’ has been grappling with means of transport after the non- availability of transportation facilities as hundreds of truckers left the Valley amid fear and uncertainty among the farmers and traders.
According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the non-availability of truckers has sent shivers among the local traders, commission agents and growers in the region, as there were no means of communication to ferry the crop. “We felt helpless after no means of communication to ferry the perishable crop to the outside mandis on time,” Riyaz Ahmad, a local trader from Shopian said.
He further said that the local transporters, who are limited in numbers as compared to market demand has hiked the fare almost double as they were high in demand in last over a month.
However, the fruit procured under Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) has been consistently receiving good number of trucks (non-locals)-particularly from Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab to ferry the procured crop to outside mandis. “The district administration is on tender hooks in ensuring to provide all means of communication to the people here,” an official from the district told KNO. He said that apple boxes procured under MIS has been regularly ferried to Hoshyarpur Mandi in Punjab and Jaipur city of Rajasthan regularly.
The aggrieved further said that their miseries further complicated after the last week’s massive untimely snowfall. Farmers of the area also said that had there been no consistent support from the officials, they would have not sent hundreds of truck-loads to different mandis. “Arranging transport facilities amid fear was a daunting task, which was only possible after consistent efforts of the local administration,” locals said. (KNO)