In a first, J&K Govt facilitates nomads’ journey to highland pastures

Transit accommodations coming up at 8 places at a cost of Rs 28 cr
Nomads along with their horses walking on a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangeer in Kashmir's Ganderbal district. [File]
Nomads along with their horses walking on a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangeer in Kashmir's Ganderbal district. [File] ANI

Srinagar: Come summer in Kashmir, nomadic population of Jammu and Kashmir start moving towards the valley for onward trekking to high pastures. Kashmir offers best and stimulant grazing for the livestock, which keeps roaming whatever the weather conditions prevail on higher reaches.

Thus far, the movement of shepherds and cattle breeders used to be a common phenomenon in Jammu areas up to Khanabal via nearly 290 km national highway.

However, the UT administration of Jammu and Kashmir, for the first time, put a halt to laborious exercise of moving over congested roads and deployed 40 Road Transport Corporation trucks for onward journey of cattle and cattle breeders up to the high pastures.

Every year by ending March, thousands of nomads begin their annual seasonal journey with lakhs of sheep and goats from Jammu region to reach the Kashmir valley. These families embark on their journey towards the alpine pastures for grazing during the summer before returning to warmer districts of Jammu region in October as the temperature goes down.

The hard journey from Jammu on foot to greener pastures of Kashmir used to consume lot of precious time for nomads leading to financial loss and physical strain. The hardships of these nomads further aggravated over the years due to dwindling number of primary source of transportation, horses. Transportation of their household goods and cattle to the upper reaches through tricks and load carriers was a long pending demand of these nomads before the administration.

On the directions of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, the department initiated a special project envisaging a transhumant support system including transit accommodations and transport facilities for the migratory population.

In line with the announcement made by Lieutenant Governor to minimize hardship being faced by the tribals during seasonal migration, the Tribal Affairs Department procured a fleet of 40 trucks for transporting around 30,000 families from Jammu to Kashmir via Mughal road and National Highway-44 connecting Jammu with Srinagar. These trucks were procured by the department through J&K Road Transport Corporation.

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