Jammu, Apr 9: In a significant development the Tribal Affairs Department today flagged off a fleet of 100 trucks for transportation of livestock and families of migratory tribal population from various districts to the highland pastures.
In line with the announcement made by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for various tribal welfare measures the department initiated a special project for transhumant support system including transit accommodations and transport facilities for migratory population, an official press release said.
These trucks have been procured by the Tribal Affairs Department through J&K Road Transport Corporation. Pertinent to mention here during last year the transport facility was provided to the transhumant population to and fro thereby mitigating the hardships faced by the migratory people through highways.
The J&K Government had earlier announced the provision of transport/freight services for migratory tribal population during annual migration to highland pastures. There was persistent demand from the migratory tribal community that they face lot of hardships during migration due to traffic jam and other hindrances and to make their journey smoother they should be provided some transportation mode. It was observed that occasionally due to harsh weather conditions there was loss of livestock and other damages causing lot of inconvenience to the affected families.
The government took the decision to help the migratory tribals and to minimise frequent traffic jamming on Srinagar -Jammu Highway and the Mughal Road. According to official figures more than 16,000 migratory tribal families were benefitted during the last year after spending summer months in Kashmir pastures and brought back in the trucks to their destination in various districts of Jammu division.
The transportation system put in place by the Tribal Affairs Department has reduced the travel time from 20-30 days on-foot to 1-2 days while it has also helped in smooth traffic management. These trucks have been deployed both on National Highway-44 and Mughal Road. More number of trucks are being inducted this year by the department to ensure coverage of 100% families.
Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department informed that Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha has committed to provide transportation support/transit facilities to the migratory tribal population. Directions were also issued by the Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta to ensure saturation in transport facilities and to cover 100% migratory population on National Highway and Mughal Road.
Further, he said that required funds are also being released in favour of J&K Road Transport Corporation for procurement of trucks to provide transportation facilities to the migratory tribal families. The Finance Department has advised the Tribal Affairs Department to avail the services of JKRTC for the movement of transhumant tribal population till a formal policy in this regard is framed by the Government. The deployed trucks shall ply along the National Highway from Kathua, Samba, Jammu Udhampur to various destinations in Kashmir and on Mughal road axis from Rajouri and Poonch to various destinations in Kashmir. The services are being provided on National Highway and Mughal Road from concerned districts.
These trucks were flagged off from Jammu by Director Tribal Affairs, Musheer Ahmad in presence of Managing Director JKRTC, Rakesh Kumar Srangal.
Deputy Director Tribal Affairs Jammu Dr Abdul Khabir, officials of Tribal Affairs Department and other prominent persons were also present on the occasion.