Choking Kashmiris economically: Sopore fruit growers alone suffered Rs 5 billion loss in September

Srinagar, September 27 (KMS): The deliberate move by the Narendra Modi led India’s Hindutva government to stop fruit laden trucks on Srinagar-Jammu highway has taken a heavy toll on the Kasmiris’ economy with Sopore fruit mandi, known to be Asia’s second largest such fruit market, having suffered around Rs 5 billion loss in the month of September alone.

President buyers association, Fruit Mandi Sopore Mudasir Ahmed Butt said that halting of trucks along Srinagar-Jammu highway leads to a loss of around Rs 5 billion to the growers, buyers and dealers in the month of September only.

He said, that a buyer suffers a loss of 4-5 lac rupees 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 for 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, urging the authorities to at least ensure hassle free movement of the fruit trucks so that produce will reach markets in time.

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

Pertinent to mention here, that the fruit Mandis across the Kashmir valley were closed for two days — Sunday and Monday in view of the strike call given against the blockage of fruit laden trucks.

Notably, fruit growers and buyers across the Kashmir valley are continuously protesting time to time over the halting of trucks along the national highway, but despite protests nothing happened. KMS—5S

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