Govt trucks to transport tribal families for seasonal migration

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The district authority in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban has banned foot movement of nomadic families with their livestock in an effort to ensure hassle-free vehicular traffic on the strategic 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway, officials said on Saturday.

However, the authorities will make available 50 trucks to transport the tribal families returning to Jammu from the highland pastures of Kashmir, they said.

Quoting a recent order by Ramban District Magistrate Mussarat Islam, the officials said Sub-divisional Magistrate Banihal Zahir Abbas had been appointed as nodal officer to oversee the migration plan.

The nodal officer will be assisted by the district’s Assistant Regional Transport Officer Samrinder Singh and Manager, Road Transport Corporation, Rajesh, the district magistrate said in the order. Their mobile numbers been designated as helpline numbers.

The order bans foot movement of the nomadic families and their livestock on the highway, the district’s only all-weather road linking Kashmir to the rest of India.

Every year, lakhs of people from nomadic tribes, mainly the Gujjars and Bakerwals, migrate to the Valley when temperatures soar in the plains of Jammu in April-May before returning ahead of the onset of winter.

The Union Territory’s tribal affairs department, for the first time this May, provided trucks to transport the families and their livestock from various districts in Jammu to the highland pastures of Kashmir.

This reduced their travel time from 20-30 days to one to two days, while also helping in smooth traffic management, especially on the highway. (PTI)

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