Majid Kapra

Fruit traders stage protest; demand smooth passage of fruit trucks on highway 

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Srinagar: Fruit growers and traders staged a peaceful protest here Monday alleging that the authorities “unnecessarily halt fruit-laden trucks” along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway leading to the financial losses to hundreds of people associated with the trade.

Carrying placards which read “Save horticulture industry”, “Allow fruit trucks on priority”, “Do justice with fruit growers”, dozens of the fruit-growers and traders staged a protest at Parimpora Fruit Mandi on the outskirts of Srinagar demanding smooth movement of trucks on the highway.

The protesters said that frequent disruptions for days altogether has led to the losses worth crores of rupees to the orchardists and traders. They said due to unnecessary halting, trucks of fruit do not reach markets outside J&K in time, which causes huge financial losses to the traders.

Talking to reporters, president Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Union (KVFGDU), Bashir Ahmad appealed to the authorities to allow smooth passage of fruit-laden trucks so that the fruit consignments do suffer damages due to rotting.

He said the frequent disruptions of fruit  trucks along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway has left traders in duress as the fruit stocks worth crores of rupees have been damaged over the past few days.

“We met several higher-ups in the administration and apprised them about the situation, however, nothing concrete was done on the ground. Stock usually is damaged when trucks do not reach their destinations well on time,” he added.

KVFGDU president said hundreds of fruit-laden trucks are being “deliberately stopped” at various sections of the highway without any valid reason.

“We demand smooth passage of truckloads on the highway; we have already incurred losses worth crores and cannot bear anymore. We appeal to the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir to kindly look into the matter. If you claim that horticulture is the backbone of J&K’s economy, then why UT’s economy is being crushed this way,” he said.

PHOTO/Javed Khan

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