As the apple harvesting season begins, the fruit growers and traders wish timely transportation of their produce to the markets outside Jammu and Kashmir.
For last several years the fruit laden trucks were being halted at a number of places on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for various reasons. The halting of trucks sometimes for days together was becoming a cause of concern.
The traffic officials were saying that the stopping of the trucks was becoming imperative due to heavy rush of trucks, and necessary repairs of the road, which was leading to traffic jamming.
As the halting of trucks was becoming an issue, the apple growers and traders would appeal the higher authorities to intervene and get the problem solved. Much to their relief, the authorities would intervene and facilitate smooth flow of the apple laden trucks.
This year the authorities took a number of steps ahead of the peak apple harvesting season to ensure that the trucks are not unnecessarily halted on highway.
At a high level meeting a few days back, the Chief Secretary Dr Ashok Kumar Mehta directed that the fruit associations should be taken onboard while devising the traffic plan.
He also directed marking the fruit laden trucks with specially designed stickers for their identification and giving unhindered access to reach the Mandis outside. Such directions are a matter of satisfaction for the concerned fruit growers and traders.
It is now being hoped that the concerned authorities reach to the fruit associations for getting the directions of the Chief Secretary implemented on the ground. Subsequently, the traffic plan is worked out and strictly adhered to.
Those associated with fruit associations must also cooperate with government officials during the devising of the traffic plan and for subsequent measures. Apple production and trade is the backbone of Kashmir economy and it has to be strengthened.
All the problems which surface need timely resolutions. Any delay in solving the problems can affect the trade and the economy. A mechanism has to be developed for smooth flow of trucks all through the season. During the peak of the season the rush of fruit laden trucks would increase on the highway.
The authorities will have to find out ways in advance for dealing with the increasing rush. The interaction between the concerned authorities and the fruit associations must be on regular basis.
Such interactions lead to better understanding of the problems and the ground realities by the two sides. Any gap in the communication leads to misunderstanding and new problems.
Efforts should be made both at official and non-official levels for smooth and timely transportation of apple from Kashmir to outside markets.