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Six secure roads for apple growers in Shopian, says Admin

Six secure roads for apple growers in Shopian, says Admin
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Srinagar: Concerned over recent attacks on outsiders in south Kashmir, the administration has announced to provide six secure roads for transportation of apple from orchards to one identified sale centre in south Kashmir district of Shopian.
Meanwhile, apple growers in north Kashmir district of Baramulla alleged that Market Intervention
Scheme (MIS) announced by the government has failure because of very low price and delay in release of payments.
Last week a fruit merchant from Punjab was killed and another was injured by unidentified gunmen in Shopian while an outsider who was working in a brick-kiln was shot dead in Pulwama.
Due to these attacks and threatening posters, the fruit growers in south Kashmir were in panic and majority of them could not send their products to outside the valley.
Immediately after these attacks, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh visited Shopian alongwith senior Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police officials to instill confidence among the fruit growers and traders to send their products to outside the valley.
However, Mr Singh advised the fruit growers to use small vehicles to transport apple boxes from their orchards to main sale centre where adequate security arrangements had been made by deployed Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF).
Now the administration has identified six routes from main sale centre to orchards to transport fruit under proper security cover, officials said, adding security forces will remain deployed since morning till evening so that fruit is transported to sale centre from orchards in small vehicles.
Later, apple will be transported to outside the valley in trucks, they said.
Meanwhile, MIS introduced by the government has evoked good response in south Kashmir though fruit traders demanded increase in the price of all categories.
However, fruit growers in Baramulla were very agitated and alleged that MIS has failed. “We did not get proper price of our products,” alleged president of the fruit growers association Dar.
He said the decision of the government was welcomed by all. “Now when we are visiting the identified sale centre, our A grade is declared B grade while our B grade product is declared C grade and C grade is not being covered under the MIS,” Dar alleged.
“If two or three pieces of apple in A grade packing is of less colour or size, entire apple box is declared B grade,” he said.
The same fruit box brings Rs 1500 in outside the mandis while we are being paid Rs 600 under MIS here, he claimed.
Dar also contested the claim of the administration that growers are being paid prices of fruit purchased under MIS within days. The reports received from different growers are contradictory to this claim, he said, adding some growers have not yet received their money even after a month.
Dar also alleged that government has totally failed to provide trucks for transportation to outside the mandis.


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