The prevailing Army convoy system and highway ban has left the only surviving Apple industry in Kashmir at the verge of decline given the huge losses faced by the merchants and growers.
The Apple Merchant Association Delhi president Metharam Kriplani from Delhi said that Kashmir’s apple industry is the only surviving industry in the state, but given the convoy system and highway ban in place has left this vibrant sector at the verge of decline.
“The growers are facing huge losses. Every day a vehicle carrying apple reaches here with 40 per cent of the fruit damaged and spoiled. The losses are in tens of lakhs. How can a grower survive in this situation,” he said.
He said the trucks from Kashmir are able to reach here only twice a week with most of the fruit damaged.
“The drivers say they are being stopped along the Highway for days and hours together. If this continues the Apple industry in Kashmir will not survive,” he said.
He expressed concern at the state of affairs saying the finance of bank and stakeholders in Delhi who give money in advance to the grower will make it at more risk.
He said the Apple Merchant Association Delhi appeals Governor Administration to allow 50 trucks daily on priority basis to move on the highway, so that the losses are controlled and the industry is saved. “Otherwise I am telling you, this thriving industry will not survive,” said Kripani.
He said due to natural calamities, the highway remains closed for a long time. “We can’t do anything against that. But whatever is in our hands, we can do that. Let governor save this industry. This is what he can do for Kashmir,” he added. KNS