National Conference on Saturday expressed dismay over the sorry state of affairs on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, saying the government must not only ensure smooth flow of fruit-laden trucks along the highway, but also control transportation charges.
In a statement, the party spokesperson, Imran Nabi Dar said the stoppage of fruit-laden trucks on the highway for last several days has set in a worrying trend as the horticulture sector in Kashmir has already incurred huge losses during the last two years on various accounts.
“The continuous stoppage of fruit laden trucks loaded from various Mandis of Kashmir has led to the huge losses to the growers. Besides, it has created scarcity of various commodities in Kashmir. Amidst all this mayhem the incumbent government and the divisional administration has again been caught napping. The problem of incessant log-jams, blockages and traffic stoppages only adds to the fruit grower’s trouble,” Imran said.
He said the fruit industry in Kashmir was undergoing a crisis due to the clampdown post August 5 measures last year, followed by unseasonal snowfall last November.
While impressing upon the government to devise a plan to prevent the local horticulture industry from collapsing, Imran said the situation on the highway connecting Kashmir with rest of the country was getting messier with each passing day.
He said the newly announced fair subsidy for air transportation for notified vegetables and fruits from Himalayan states was yet to see light of day.
“The air subsidies are subject to frequent changes and cannot provide long term relief to farmers and horticulturalists. Fruits like cherry, plum and peach have not been covered under the freight subsidy scheme applied to Jammu and Kashmir. This selective approach will not provide succour to farmers,” Imran said.