‘Fleet of 600 trucks grounded’
Pulwama, Sep 26 (KNO): With hardly any business activities in major fruit mandis in south Kashmir this harvest season, the truckers suffer huge losses during this peak season, pushing them in a position where they are not in a position to pay bank installments.
Suhail Ahmad, a truck driver by profession from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district said that he had purchased a truck in the month of July after investing his lifelong savings and a portion of amount financed by Jammu and Kashmir Bank, only with the hope to earn good dividends in the peak season of apple harvesting.
“The plucking season is already at its peak, but farmers are not plucking the crop due to the prevailing situation in Kashmir, forcing all the truckers to stay idle at home rather than venturing for any load,” he said.
Gowhar Fayaz from Imam Sahib area of Shopian district also said dozens of truck drivers in his area are sitting idle in absence of any business in the area. “In our area alone (Imam Sahib area), almost three dozen new trucks hit the roads this year, with the hope to earn a good revenue after witnessing bumper crop in the area,” Fayaz said.
Similarly, the truck union at Arhama fruit Mandi- popular for providing transportation facilities to all the state of India is deserted this season with hardly any business activity. “Last year, during this season we were sending 500 to 600 trucks to Indian states from here, but this year there is no business,” said an employee of the union, wishing anonymity.
“With apple harvesting begins our peak season and rest of the year there is little business done by truckers here,” he said.
Currently, almost all the major fruit mandis in Pulwama and Shopian have been lying defunct since the day government of India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
The apple growers here believe that the harvest of this cash crop was dragged deliberately to project the normalcy in current uncertainties; however, other agricultural activities have been going on normally.
“Everyone is suffering losses in Kashmir during these days, so are the truckers and there is complete silence in the entire area,”
In these tough times, majority of the fruit growers are clueless about the future strategy in absence of leadership in the prevailing situation in Kashmir. (KNO)