Kashmir’s tribal communities demand urgent livestock transport amidst harsh weather

Kashmir’s tribal communities demand urgent livestock transport amidst harsh weather

Officials say shortage of vehicles by Tribal Affairs Dept, assure additional transport options

Tribal communities residing in the upper reaches of Kashmir are urgently seeking improved transport facilities for the safe transfer of their livestock to the Jammu division in the wake of approaching winter.

Residents of various regions in the valley told the news agency – Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the recent heavy rains have brought severe cold to the upper reaches which has led to concerns among them that their livestock may suffer if not relocated to the Jammu division soon.

They said that due to snowfall and rains in these high-altitude areas, their animals face the threat of starvation. They are urging the government to take immediate action in this matter.

Maqbool Khatana, the head of one of these families in Pulwama, expressed frustration at the lack of response from the concerned authorities, despite prior notifications regarding the need for transportation.

“Why despite government claims of having made transportation arrangements for tribal people, we are still forced to wait for extended periods to access these services,” he questioned.

According to the tribal communities, the number of vehicles assigned for transportation is inadequate, which has led to lengthy delays in securing a turn. They said that last year, similar demands for additional trucks went unmet, due to which numerous families were left with no choice but to carry their livestock on foot, as they had done in the past.

They have appealed to the administration, including Secretary Tribal Affairs Department Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary to address this issue promptly and take necessary steps to rectify the situation.

The transportation service for migratory tribal families via the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and Mughal Road was initiated last year and has continued this year. According to authorities, around 16,000 families benefited from this service last year.

Meanwhile, the concerned officials said the Tribal Affairs Department has provided an insufficient number of vehicles, which falls short of adequately serving the large tribal population and their livestock.

They, however, assured that the department is working closely with the Tribal Affairs Department to secure additional transport options and ensure that migratory tribal communities can be promptly and safely transferred to the Jammu division

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