Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday welcomed the government decision of re-opening of Mughal road for transportation of fruit from Kashmir to different parts of the country.
In a statement issued here, Bukhari said the government decision to allow downward vehicular traffic for transportation of cherry, peach, plum, and apricot to outside Kashmir is appreciable.
Bukhari extended gratitude to the Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu for this significant decision which has provided a sigh of relief to the cherry and other fruit growers who will now be allowed to send their produce to outside Jammu Kashmir.
"This decision is bound to help the growers in a long way to gain better yield for their produce, the major portion of which is still to be harvested. I hope the rest of the produce is not wasted and is transported without any hassles to the outside J&K markets for better sales," he added.
Bukhari demanded that the J&K government should now keep this prestigious road open for the transportation of fruit and vegetables round the year in view of the dilapidated condition of Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
Stating that the lockdown to curb spread of COVID-19 has badly disrupted the long spring migration of thousands of Bakarwal and Gujjar families across Jammu and Kashmir, the JKAP president urged the government of J&K to allow the movement of Bakarwal families who want to travel to Kashmir division from various parts of Jammu region along-with their livestock for season migration.
"The delay in their migration will have a cascading effect on the lives of the nomadic communities and their traditional businesses, which are closely aligned with the seasons and land use patterns of the regions," Bukhari remarked.
He said this delay in seasonal migration will also lead to shortage of fodder for the animals of the migratory families because the delayed migration will end up spending most of their time travelling and they won't be able to cover all the pastures in time, which means the livestock won't get enough grass to eat.
"Since the temperature in Jammu has soared and the jungles are overrun with herbs, some of which, the shepherds believe, are poisonous for the animals, they should be immediately allowed through Mughal road to travel to their desired pastures," he demanded.
Bukhari said that the manner in which the herders migrate anyway allows for social distancing norms mandated by COVID protocol to be implemented by shepherds who migrate with the sheep, while their goats and cows are ferried in vehicles.
"I appeal the Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu to issue necessary directions for a hassle-free movement of these migratory families along with the vehicles for transportation of their herds of animals and family members to their respective destinations in Kashmir division at an earliest," he demanded.