Inspector General of Police (IGP), Traffic, Vikramjit Singh directed all the SSPs of traffic to take immediate necessary measures to ensure smooth passage to the fruit laden trucks.
The directions were passed days after the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union (KVFGCDU) staged protests in all Fruit Mandi’s of the Valley against what they termed as the deliberate stoppage of apple and pear loaded trucks on various spots of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
IGP Traffic J-K Srinagar chaired a meeting at Traffic Headquarters to discuss the issue of movement of trucks from Kashmir and to further facilitate their movement.
The meeting was attended by Directors of Horticulture and Agriculture Kashmir, JKHPMC and other stake holders including fruit growers and traders association of J-K Union Territory.
During the meeting, a threadbare discussion was held on issues pertaining to the movement of trucks carrying fruits through the National Highway and other roads.
The traders present in the meeting raised their concerns and urged for the movement of Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) from the Kashmir Valley.
After detailed discussion, the IGP Traffic directed all SSPs of traffic including SSP National Highway to take immediate necessary measures so that fruit laden trucks are provided a smooth passage and are not stranded. “Besides, extra time may be given to down convoy to ensure clearance of stranded fruit laden vehicles and it was assured no vehicle would be allowed for up traffic on down HMV days to ensure hassle free movement.”
To ensure full transparency, IGP Traffic asked the Horticulture department and Horticulture associations to depute their representative with traffic officials at Banihal and Qazigund for ensuring smooth movement of fruit trucks.
The matter of decongesting at Ramban and Banihal market was taken up with DC Ramban, who was kind enough to issue the orders without any delay for removal of encroachments and declaring Banihal market (main congestion point as no parking zone) so that vehicle traffic movement could be facilitated, the statement said.
Department of Horticulture was asked for pasting of stickers of an “Apple” picture on the windscreen of each fruit laden trucks for ease of identification, so that the apple carrying truck could be parked separately and released on priority, the statement said, adding that it was decided that a WhatsApp group would be created at Traffic Hqrs level in which all stakeholders including representatives of Horticulture associations shall be added for timely redressal of grievances of fruit growers.
As HMVS ply on NH-44 on alternate days, it was suggested to the representatives of various trade associations to follow the time table for release of trucks on the National Highway and dispatch their vehicle accordingly, so that fruit trucks loaded with fruit would not get stuck at Qazigund, the statement said.
It was also suggested to Directors of Horticulture and Agriculture to use Mughal Road on those days when HMVS plays from Jammu to Srinagar on NHW-44.
Meanwhile, IGP Traffic J-K assured the participant traders and fruit growers that frequent review meetings will be held in the coming days to ensure hassle free movement of fruit laden trucks and implementation of decisions.