Srinagar, September 26 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has expressed concern over the matter that thousands of trucks, carrying apples, are getting stranded at Srinagar-Jammu highway, particularly near the 20km stretch from Qazigund to Banihal.
The KCCI spokesman in a statement issued in Srinagar said the highway mess is unprecedented and the authorities must effectively find a way-out, as the apple harvesting season is gaining momentum with every passing day.
“Any further delay in solving the problem can badly hit the Kashmir economy, mostly dependent on apple trade,” he said, adding, “This is peak fruit season in Kashmir and this is for the first time when we are seeing this mess on the national highway.”
He said that the apple growers and traders have been alleging that the trucks are halted for days together and their movement frequently disturbed. He said if fruit does not reach markets outside Kashmir on time, its quality gets badly affected leading to financial losses to them.
“Apples contribute to around 8 percent of Jammu and Kashmir’s gross domestic product. There are ten fruit mandis in the valley which include Srinagar, Sopore, Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Pachhar, Anantnag, Handwara, Baramulla and Ganderbal. When the trucks are stopped for days, it directly affects the fruit and fruits often rot until trucks reach mandis,” he added.
The KCCI appealed to the authorities to make the passage of vehicles easy so that fruit growers do not face losses.