Highway restrictions: Protest held in Sopore, associations demand revocation of Govt order

Srinagar : Dozens of traders, fruit growers, Civil Society members and others Friday staged a sit-in at Asia’s second largest fruit Mandi in Sopore to protest against the restrictions on Srinagar-Jammu highway stretch in view of the ongoing 46-day-long Amarnath yatra.
The protesters also blocked the highway, which resulted in traffic mess in the area. They were chanting slogans against the government and demanding immediate revocation of restrictions on highway. Scores of members of various associations including Traders federation Sopore, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers, Civil Society Sopore, Sopore Economic Alliance, Northern Pharmaceutical Distributors Association and Industrial Estate Sopore, buyers Association Sopore, Fruit association Baramulla participated in the sit-in.
They termed the restrictions on highway as sheer injustice with them, saying this is for the first time since 1947 that Government has imposed ban on highway, which will prove costly for the fruit industry in Kashmir valley as well as affect the economic. Mudasir Ahmad, Buyers Association President Fruit Mandi Sopore said “we are not against Yatra, but our business is suffering.”
President fruit growers and dealers association Sopore Fayaz Ahmad Malik said that due to the restrictions on public transport, the distribution of early varieties of Apples and other fruits and vegetables were badly affected as trucks remain stuck on highway for many days, resulting in loses to the industry.
Bashir Ahmad Bashir, Kashmir All Valley President, said that the government should have set up a mechanism in order to ensure free movement of public transport on the highway rather than imposing restriction on it.

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