Fruits and vegetables are likely to be dearer in the Srinagar city and other areas in Kashmir valley with traders at Fruit Mandi Parimpora planning an indefinite strike from Monday 29 to protest against the routine stopping of fruit and vegetables-laden vehicles on Jammu Srinagar Highway near Udhampur.
The Mandi comprises more than 300 shops and around 3000 people are directly associated with it for earning their livelihood.
President, New Kashmir Fruit Association Parimpora Bashir Ahmad told Kashmir News Service that they have called an indefinite strike from Monday 29.
“Every day our fruit and vegetables- laden vehicles are stopped unnecessarily in Udhampur by police. Fruits have short life and get destroyed due to stopping of our vehicles on highway. We understand that Losses are inflicted deliberately, the president claimed.”
He said that though they raised the issue many times with the top authorities but no heed has been paid in this regard. “Now we have decided to shut our business till our problem won’t be resolved,”
He said that they are not satisfied with the assurances given by the government and therefore they have decided to go for strike.
He claimed that due to unnecessary stopping of vehicles, the traders at fruit mandi are losing crores every month. “Deliberately our trucks are being stopped in the Udhampur region. We have seen that when a truck offers money to the police, only then they allow them to move towards Kashmir,” Bashir Ahmad claimed.
He further alleged that even on Sunday when traffic was not allowed on highway, they received several vegetable and fruit- laden trucks from Jammu, and “they told us that they paid money to the police who later allowed them to move”.
The parimpora fruit mandi was inaugurated by then Chief Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in 1982 with a vision of transforming it into a model Mandi.
Sources said that supply of vegetables and fruits could be hit, triggering a price rise, if the strike begins and continues.
The supply of vegetables, fruits such as onions, Potato, Mangoes, oranges, Grapes, chillies, cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes is largely dependent on this mandi. (KNS)