The Highway Fiasco

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The Highway Fiasco
Srinagar Jammu national highway has always been a hurdle in the economic development of the valley because this two hundred plus kilometers highway runs through dangerous mountain passes and remains shut for many months a year, though at intervals.
We are at the peak of fruit season and thousands of trucks laden with apple and pear leave the valley everyday to take the fruits to different mandis of the country. We have been witnessing a strange phenomenon this year as these trucks are stopped at qazigund for days together and it takes these trucks many days to reach their destination.
Frequent closures of Srinagar-Jammu national highway have resulted into huge losses to the apple traders and growers and a large chunk of our population has to face a very difficult situation in the coming winters. A large chunk of our population is dependent on the fruit industry for its employment and if trucks remain stranded the way they are right now, our fruit industry has to think of a course of action.
Fruit growers and traders association, Kashmir has gone for a strike against the halting of fruit laden trucks and the association decided to shut all the fruit markets (Mandis) in the valley. Delegations from fruit traders and growers visited the government offices many times to request them to intervene and last time divisional commissioner and IGP Trafic gave assurances that fruit laden trucks will be cleared on priority basis but nothing concrete and substantial happened on the ground.
Yesterday, the representatives of different fruit growers associations again had a meeting with the officials and it was assured once again that fruit laden trucks will be cleared on priority basis. After this announcement, the mandis have also decided to resume the operation from today and it is expected that the government will take the issue very seriously and resolve the issue once and for all. If we are not able to solve this fiasco, we won’t be able to save the fruit industry from the challenges it has been facing.


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