Shopian: Shopian administration is set to throw open Mughal road for allowing transportation of cherry to Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu.
An official from Shopian told Kashmir Reader that the snow clearance on Mughal Road has been completed a few days ago. However, some areas which come under Poonch district are yet to be cleared.
According to a top official from the district, the move to open Mughal road is being taken to help growers send their produce to Poonch and Rajouri districts.
Mughal road usually remains closed for five months due to heavy snowfall and apprehension of massive avalanches but last year the road was closed in November after heavy snow.
Deputy Commissioner Shopian Choudary Muhammad Yasin told Kashmir Reader that the road will be opened only for ferrying cherry next week.
“The movement of vehicles for other purposes will be taken by government in view of prevailing circumstances of Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
According to horticulture department data, Shopian is producing around 3,344 metric tonnes of cherry this year. Last year around 30 percent of produce got spoiled due to frequent rains during harvesting season.
In Shopian, cherry is mainly produced in Imamsahib, Kachdora, Saidpora and Shopian main belts of the district.
But the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the trade piling up losses of growers who are under tremendous economic stress since last year after lockdown and threats following abrogation of Article 370 blocked transportation of apples to other parts of the country.
Chief horticulture officer Shopian, Muhammad Yousuf Dar told Kashmir Reader that 600 hectares of land is under cultivation of cherry in the south Kashmir district. The varieties of cherry being grown in the district include Mishri, Dabal, Jadi, Siya, Italy, Makhmali, Steela and Wain.