450 fruit trucks dispatched from cold stores

SRINAGAR: With Government relaxing lockdown measures to permit gradual resumption of activity in certain sectors, Industries & Commerce Department in Kashmir Division has been taking steps to resume industrial activity in areas which are not designated as Red Zones. Priority is being given to restart units manufacturing essential commodities and medical supplies. The efforts are aimed to give some impetus to the economy by resuming industrial and manufacturing activities in Kashmir.
Major activity has been seen in functioning of the cold stores. “We have restored industrial activity and more importantly the fruit that was lying in cold stores was a concern and now about 1450 trucks have left from cold stores to Delhi and other terminal markets”, said Director Industries & Commerce Kashmir, Mehmood Ahmad Shah. “There are 31 CA stores holding about 25000 MT of apple and this fruit would be gradually exported to fruit markets till the middle of June”, he added.
Regulating the supplies of fruit produce to terminal markets is bound to fetch remunerative prices for the dealers as there were concerns that due to extended lock down, the apples may be sold locally at throwaway prices. This holds promise for future of cold store industry in Kashmir which would benefit the growers and dealers alike as the problem of glut in the apple market can be averted by regulating supply to the terminal markets.
“About 80 packaging units manufacturing card board boxes are also functional. By allowing cold stores and card board units to resume operations, the fruit crop would get the much needed packaging and marketing support. In next 10 to 15 days, cherry season is going to start. Both cold stores and card board packaging units shall cater to the cherry crop and benefit the growers and fruit dealers. Since the shelf life of cherry is very short, this year more emphasis will be on canning of the produce to increase its shelf life”, Director Industries said.
Similarly to give fillip to the construction sector, cement plants, brick kilns and stone crusher plants have also been allowed to restart with in-house labour. Giving details, Director Industries Kashmir said that cement factories were initially asked to dispatch their existing stock and now they have commenced manufacture of cement as well.

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