With Kashmir on the boil, authorities in Jammu and Kashmir today appealed for free movement of trucks carrying fruits to terminal markets of the country to save the Rs 6000 crore industry – the backbone of the Valley economy.
Director Horticulture, Planning and Marketing, Rafiq Ahmad Hakim made the appeal while briefing a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan to discuss measures for ensuring smooth transportation of fruit from the Valley, an official spokesman said.
“If free movement of vehicles was not allowed, the fruit industry will be badly hit,” Hakim said and expressed concern over the inability of vehicles to transport fruits to various parts of the country as the fruit season has already started in the Valley.
The Valley exports 18-20 metric tons of fresh and dry fruits every year and contributes a major portion in the State’s economy.
Khan said effective measures would be taken to ensure free movement of vehicles carrying fruits from Kashmir to other parts of the country.
“Fruit industry is the backbone of Kashmir economy, and all necessary measures will be put in place to ensure that the 6000 crore worth industry is not affected owing to the ongoing unrest,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers (KVFG), a traders’ body in the Valley, said the association would follow the separatist shutdown programme for which they are ready to bear losses.
The association after holding meeting via a video link with its office-bearers, also passed a resolution, which demanded immediate ban on use of pellets by security forces.