Jammu & Kashmir

Halting of fruit trucks on Srinagar-Jammu highway: JK Admin attaches SSP Traffic 

A view of fruit-laden stranded trucks on Srinagar-Jammu highway. [FPK Photo/ Qayoom Khan]

Srinagar: Amid widespread outrage in Kashmir over the halting of apple trucks, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has attached Senior Superintendent of Police, Traffic, Srinagar-Jammu highway, Shabir Ahmad Malik.

According to an order issued by Jammu and Kashmir, Shabir Ahmad Malik has been transferred and attached with immediate effect.

“In the interest of the administration of Shabir Ahmad Malik, SSP Traffic, NHW, is hereby transferred and attached with police headquarters, J&K, with immediate effect. Ms.Mohita Sharma, SSP Ramban, shall hold the additional charge of the said post, till further orders,” reads the order.

Earlier on Tuesday, Asia’s second-largest Fruit Mandi in Sopore, with Mandi administration said that a 500 crore loss was faced by the apple industry in the month of September alone due to the halting of trucks.

President buyers association, Fruit Mandi Sopore Mudasir Ahmed Bhat said that the halting of trucks along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway leads to a loss of around Rs 500 crore to the growers, buyers, and dealers in the month of September only.

He said, that a buyer suffers a loss of Rs 4-5 lac per truck as the authorities are unnecessarily stopping trucks and it seems they deliberately want them to suffer. “Who is going to pay the losses,” asked Mudasir.

“If the situation doesn’t change and the trucks will not be allowed to pass, we will go on the hunger strike and the government will be responsible for that.”

Similarly, President Fruit Mandi Sopore, Fayaz Ahmed Malik said that the fruit industry is crumbling as they already had suffered heavy losses during the last several years and government must at least ensure hassle movement of the fruit trucks so that produce will reach markets in time. “It will fetch a good rate,” he said.

Malik had said that they were hopeful that their matter will be taken seriously as they had a meeting with the chief secretary, besides the directions were passed by the administration to allow the fruit-laden trucks, but they fail to understand why authorities are not taking any strong steps on the ground level.

Malik, however, held SSP Traffic Shabir responsible for the losses. “Citing traffic jam reasons, the SSP is not allowing our trucks to pass, even if the vehicles are being allowed to enter the valley”, he added.

Malik had also urged the administration take immediate necessary steps for the transportation of fresh fruit-laden trucks on the Srinagar-Jammu highway without any hindrance.


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