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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Poor road condition worries apple growers

Roop Upadhyay, Hindustan Times  Mandi, September 06, 2013
First Published: 19:42 IST(6/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:43 IST(6/9/2013)

Orchard owners of as many as 12 gram panchayats of Panjai Thachi area under Seraj segment are living under constant fear of loss of their bumper apple crop due to poor road conditions.

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They claimed that poor quality of roads could affect transportation of apple boxes to the plains. Villagers added that 17-km-long stretch of Thachi to the Didar road was in worst condition and heavy monsoon had made things worse.

Rain has turned the loose sliding mud from the hill sides into pools of slush and ruts causing frequent road blocks and huge traffic jams. The road is not even fit to walk or use horses to carry apple boxes to nearby stations.

Villagers said the road was constructed and dedicated for public use 10 months ago by the previous BJP government. In the beginning, people used their own or hired transport vehicles either to travel or carry goods, but later the transporters complained of bumpy roads and refused to ply on the route.

Meanwhile, nearly 5-km stretch between Thachi and Galu has been completely washed away in the recent rain and people have been left in lurch.

People, who represent the panchayati raj institutions of the area, said apple boxes worth crores were lying in the open on ground, waiting for transportation. They requested the government to take serious note of the problem.

"If road connectivity is not restored within a short time, a number of apple growers will be ruined as the fruit is the main crop of the area and their source of income," said Bhume Ram.

Meanwhile, women of a number of villages gathered at Seri village on Sunday and organised a meeting to discuss the issue and warned the government that if the government failed to restore road connectivity, they would stage a dharna and rally in protest.

Meanwhile, Gohar public works department executive engineer KK Sharma said a case of land dispute was pending in the court due to which the repair work was postponed, but as now the issue had been solved, the department had ordered the contractor concerned to begin with the necessary repair and construction work.


 


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