Shopian: Saturday morning dozens of distraught members of the Truck Transport Association Shopian gathered at the Aglar Fruit Mandi in Shopian to stage a peaceful protest against the halting of trucks along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
Filled with transporters, fruit growers, and traders, the fruit mandi reverberated with slogans denouncing the pesky disruptions in the seamless movement of apple-laden trucks.
The transporters said that the fruit trucks do not show up at outstation Mandis on time, causing damage to the fruit.
“It takes a truck more than a week to reach Delhi,” Vice President of Truck Transport Association, Shopian Malik Jahangir said.
He said that the fruit trucks were stopped frequently along the highway.
Another transporter said that the trucks that left the Mandi on September 18 were still stranded at Qazigund.
The transporters complained that they were denied freight charges by the traders after their trucks reached mandis beyond the expected time.
“We are not paid the transportation charges after the traders find the produce having turned bad due to late arrival,” they said.
The transporters said that the trucks were being stopped despite recent assurances by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha about facilitating the free movement of fruit trucks.
“We also met the top Police officials in this regard but to avail,” they said.
The transporters said that they would hit the streets if the government failed to ensure seamless movement of trucks along the highway.
The apple-rich Shopian district produces first-rate apples and the fruit is the main source of income for most of the people here.
However, over the past few years, the apple growers and traders faced a host of difficulties due to long drawn-out lockdowns and unseasonal snowfall that spelled doom for apple farms.