Traders suffered heavy losses due to frequent highway closures: NKFA President
Fruit and vegetable traders at Parimpora Mandi Wednesday threatened to go for an indefinite from next week if the government does not resolve the traffic mismanagement on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
Raising pro-justice slogans, scores of traders, labourers, and drivers assembled at Fruit Mandi Parimpora complex and said that the authorities were illegally stopping their fruit-laden vehicles on the Srinagar-Jammu highway near Udhampur.
President of New Kashmir Fruit Association (NKFA), Parimpora, Bashir Ahmad Bashir said they had decided to go for an indefinite strike from Monday (April 29).
“The traders have suffered heavy losses due to frequent closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway and now truck drivers have become the victim of traffic mismanagement on the highway,” he said.
Bashir said the government was deliberately stopping the fruit-laden vehicles on the Srinagar-Jammu highway to create economic hurdles for the Valley.
“Trucks are reaching the market late and except rotten fruit nothing is left,” Bashir said. “The traders are suffering heavy losses.”
He said trucks were being made to wait for days at a stretch on the highway which was hampering supplies to the Valley and apple export from here.
NKFA Vice President Anil Kumar told Rising Kashmir that the trucks coming to the Valley from other states were being stopped on the highway at many places.
“Even when the traffic is moving toward Srinagar, the authorities stop these trucks,” he said and alleged that the trucks drivers who are allowed to move toward Kashmir were being compelled to pay heavy amount to traffic officials.
According to Kumar, some traders of Jammu were also involved in this act and the administration should look into this matter.
“For the past six months we have been urging the government to manage the fruit-laden truckers the way they are managing oil tankers,” he said and suggested that the fruit-laden truckers could be allowed via Jammu-Batote stretch but the administration was denying it for their vested interests.
The traders said the highway closure for civilian traffic for two days a week, and frequent stoppage of trucks on the highway had put a deep stress on the apple growers and traders.
The Mandi comprises more than 300 shops and around 3000 people are directly associated with it for earning their livelihood.
“Fruits have short life and get destroyed due to stopping of our vehicles on the highway. We understand that the losses are inflicted deliberately,” another trader said.
The Parimpora Fruit Mandi was inaugurated in 1982 with a vision of transforming it into a model mandi.