Jawahar tunnel to remain open round the clock for transportation of fruit

Basharat Bukhari reviews arrangements for hassle-free movement of fruit trucks

Srinagar: Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari on Saturday directed for making Jawahar tunnel operational round the clock during fruit season to ensure smooth, safe and timely transportation of horticulture industry produce to outside the State.

The Minister said this while chairing a meeting here today to review measures being undertaken to ensure the hassle-free movement of fruit carrying trucks on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Vice Chairmen Horticulture Development Board, Abdul Salam Reshi; Vice Chairmen JKHPMC, Ghulam Mohammad Mir; Director General of J&K Police, S P Vaid; Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan; Inspector General J&K Traffic Police, Jagjit Kumar; Secretary Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone; Excise Commissioner, Mohammad Javid Khan; Director Horticulture Planning and Marketing (P&M) Manzoor Ahmad Qadri; Commanding Officer 24 Bn CRPF (Incharge Jawahar Tunnel), Sumit Kumar; Commanding Officer Beacon, Varinder Singh; J&K Bank Officials,  members of various fruit associations and fruit growers  were also present in the meeting.

Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Inspector General J&K Police Jammu, S D Singh Jamwal, and other concerned administrative officers participated in the meeting via video conferencing.

Terming farmer heart and trader mind of horticulture industry, the Minister said that the Government has undertaken a holistic programme for ensuring equitable and sustainable development of horticulture sector of the State.

He said that trucks carrying fruit should be given priority during the season while travelling on Jammu-Srinagar Highway so that trader, as well as grower, can fetch good returns.

He directed the concerned for checking and maintaining genuine load carrying charges during the fruit season.

Bukhari directed the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir for making special arrangements of trucks for timely transportation of horticulture produce during the fruit season.

The Divisional Commissioner assured the Minister that all necessary steps will be taken to avoid inconveniences faced by the traders and required fleet will be made available as per the demand of mandies.

The Minister was informed that steps are being taken to ensure Jawahar tunnel is made operational 24×7. He was told that J&K Police will paste a special security check sticker on fruit carrying trucks which will be valid for a limited period.

It was said that Horticulture Department in collaboration with J&K Bank will also paste a special fluorescent sticker on fruit carrying trucks for their easy identification and hassle-free movement on the National Highway.

During the meeting, various trade associations informed the Minister that trucks are not being allowed by the Police to move before 8 pm. The Minister directed the IGP to look into the matter, besides take up the issue of frequent traffic snarls at Azadpur Mandi, Delhi with concerned quarters.

Bukhari directed the CRPF and Beacon officials to take innovative measures for making Jawahar tunnel operational round the clock during the fruit season, besides submit a detailed report regarding critical spots on the Highway.

The Minister directed the Divisional Commissioner Jammu to appoint an officer who will remain in touch with Horticulture P&M Department to avoid communication gaps. He also directed DIG to appoint nodal officers who will remain in touch with the Department to ensure hassle-free movement of fruit carrying trucks via Mughal Road and Lakhanpur entry point.

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