SRINAGAR: To facilitate hassle-free transportation of fruits from Kashmir to the markets outside the state, the government has decided to allow return of offloaded trucks into the Valley through Mughal Road.
The decision, an official handout issued here on Thursday said, was taken at a high-level meeting held here under the Minister for Horticulture Abdul Rehman Veeri.
“The move would facilitate hassle-free movement of trucks to and from Kashmir in view of the heavy traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway,” the Minister said. The meeting was attended by the concerned administrative officials and associations of fruit growers, traders, and transporters.
The Horticulture Minister instructed the concerned authorities for “well-timed completion of required formalities to enable the trucks to ply on Mughal Road while returning to the Valley”. He asked IG Traffic to restrict checking of fruit-laden trucks on Jammu-Srinagar highway.
“Unnecessary checking of trucks is not only time consuming but it also creates traffic jams on the highway. Checkpoints for fruit-laden trucks shall be minimised,” he said. Veeri said horticulture is “the mainstay” of the state’s economy. “Requisite measures are necessitated for fetching better returns of fruits, especially apple produce,” he said.
Stating that the demand for trucks would be met by utilising resources of the other states, he said there should be no delay in arranging truck fleets on “reasonable rates” during the peak season.
“The horticulture ministry would request transport ministries of other states like Punjab, Haryana, UP, and Delhi to deploy their truck fleets for dispatch of fruits from the state,” he said.
“The haggling on freight charges and excessive commission from the fruit traders and transporters from outside the State are intolerable. Stern action should be taken against such traders,” he said, and instructed the concerned authorities to take up the matter with AMPC New Delhi. The Minister said the fruit supply to “such dishonest traders” should be stopped forthwith.
For immediate unloading of the food grain-carrying trucks in the Valley warehouses, Veeri asked the concerned authorities to take up the matter with Food Corporation of India authorities. He also asked the Transport Department to “periodically review” the freight charges of the trucks for convenience of fruit growers and traders of the Valley.