Kashmir Indepth

‘From Kashmir with love’, apple crop races to outside markets

Srinagar, Oct 18 : As hundreds of overloaded fruits laden trucks are transporting the crop outside valley without being searched by the traffic regulatory authorities and security agencies so that the apple crop reaches outside market in time.

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According to wire news service— hundreds of heavy overloaded vehicles are being used by the apple merchants to transport the fruits outside valley in absence of traffic regulatory authorities on grounds causing great threat to the commuters on National Highway 1A. Fear has gripped the apple growers across Kashmir especially in South Kashmir in the backdrop of killing of a non-local trucker whose truck was also torched, and soon after his killing a non-local labourer was shot dead and close on the heels of his killing, two apple merchants were shot at of which one died and another is critical.

Bilal Ahmad, a commuter said that, “I felt terrified several times while driving back to Kashmir as most of truck passing by were over loaded. After inquiring, I was told that trucks laden with fruit especially apple crop are given preferences so that the crop reaches respective markets in time.”

He said that the overloaded trucks were plying normally on the national highway and at several places these trucks caused heavy traffic jams. He further added, “It took me about 15 hours to reach Srinagar from Jammu because of movement of these heavy loaded trucks that were given priority.” Eye-witnesses said that many apple boxes had a written message on them:
“From Kashmir, with love.”

Amrinder Pal, a truck driver said that “the ongoing uncertainty in Kashmir has left no other option to make the best use of available resources in order to transport the apple crop as soon as possible to avoid any damage to the crop.”

He said that the transportation of the fruit needs to be done at earliest to avoid the damage to the crop as due to ongoing uneasy much of the crop is damaged and the remaining needs to be transported as soon as possible to avoid further loss. He further added, “We are here to earn our livelihood and at the same time we don’t want anyone to suffer loss. We are transporting the crop as much as we can manage to transport.”  (KNO)

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