Seasonal migration of tribal population

Extend the transport facility further to cover maximum families
A nomad shepherd walks near Ramban area along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway during the migration season in winters.[Representational Image]
A nomad shepherd walks near Ramban area along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway during the migration season in winters.[Representational Image] File: Haseeb Ibn Hameed for Greater Kashmir

Some days back the Tribal Affairs Department flagged off a fleet of 100 trucks for transportation of livestock, and the families of migratory tribal population from various districts in Jammu to the highland pastures in Kashmir.

The transport facility will be available to migratory tribal families through Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and Mughal Road. This exercise was started last year and also continues this year.

It is being hoped that  providing transport facility to them will become a permanent feature and they will not have to suffer like past during their seasonal migration from Jammu districts to highland pastures in Kashmir in summer and then back from Kashmir to Jammu in autumn.

It used to take them  20 to 30 days in completing the migration from one side. This would cause traffic jamming on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway and Mughal Road. Now because of the transport availability it takes them only one or two days, officials say.

When last year this process was started it was hailed. But there were also reports of shortage of the transport sometimes. There was a demand for more trucks from the tribal population. Subsequently,  several families could not get the facility and preferred to walk on foot and carry their livestock like in the past.

Following their movement there were again problems on some stretches of the roads and the authorities had to  tell the migratory families to avoid movement  during peak hours to avoid traffic jamming. Authorities say last year 16, 000 families availed the facility.

They say more trucks will be pressed into service this year to cover 100 percent families. This statement must be implemented in letter and spirit so that the migratory families do not suffer. The migration of the tribal families from Mughal Road will start only after the road is thrown open.

The road continues to remain blocked since winter. There is a demand for the reopening of the road. The people demanding the reopening of the road say that because of the closure of the road they are facing the problems. The snow clearance operation was launched early this time since there was not much heavy snowfall along the road last winter.

Official say that the snow clearance on the road was completed but fresh snowfall occurred recently. It is being hoped that the road is thrown at appropriate time when officials feel that the movement of vehicles is safe on the road after the fresh snow clearance.

There is also requirement for proper maintenance of Mughal Road. Like other major roads and highways, the Mughal Road too needs to get all attention as far as its development is concerned.

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