28 pick-up vans cross LoC on the first day of trading

October 21st, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Srinagar, Oct 21 (ANI): As many as 28 pick-up vans loaded with goods crossed the Aman Sethu (peace bridge) on Tuesday as cross-LoC trade resumed between the divided parts of Kashmir after decades of closure.

In all, 13 truck loads moved across from this side carrying apples and spices while 15 pick-up vans loaded with rice, spices, rock salt, dry dates and raisins drove to this side from across the border.

The crossing of the vehicles was delayed due to paucity of space as media persons in large numbers descended on the border outpost, about 120 kms from Srinagar, to cover the historic event.

Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra flaged off the convoy at Salamabad, 15 kms ahead of Kaman Post, at a colourful function and hoped that the volume of trade on this route as well as the number of items on the trading list will increase with the passage of time.

We are hopeful that the trade volume will increase … also with gaining of experience the number of items on the trading list will increase, the Governor said.

The cross-LoC trade started nearly three years after the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service was launched to allow greater contact between people from both sides of the LoC.

It is after 61 years that the road has been thrown open for cross-LOC trade, which will be on Zero duty basis.

While the trucks coming from the other side will be unloaded at Salamabad, those from this side will drop their loads at Chakoti.

On the modalities of trade, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Mubeen Shah said at the moment it is a kind of barter system regulated by the joint chamber of commerce consisting of trade representatives from both the sides.

President of People’’s Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti who is also a member of Lok Sabha from Anantnag, vice president Maulana Iftikhar Hussain Ansari and MLC Basharat Bukhari attended the inaugural function.

India and Pakistan have agreed to run truck service on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote cross-loC routes twice a week and have approved a list of 21 items that can be initially traded. (ANI)

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