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Closure of national highway leads to scarcity of essential commodities in Kashmir
3/5/2015 10:17:46 PM
Mudasir Tariq
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Mar 5: As the Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for fourth consecutive day today people of Kashmir valley continue to face acute shortage of essential commodities. The things available in the market are being sold at inflated rates.
Reports reaching from the different areas of valley say that there is a shortage of vegetables, meat and other daily commodities. People complain against the profiteering and overcharging by unscrupulous butchers and vegetable sellers. They say that Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution (CAPD) department is in deep slumber.
"Just when the highway gets blocked, the traders increase rates. The dealers are selling meat and vegetables at higher rates against the rate list. They are looting consumers and taking advantage of the shortage while as authorities are doing nothing in this concern," said Ghulam Hassan while purchasing meat at Maharaja Bazar.
Surprisingly, this is not for the first time that the traders have increased the rates soon after the closure of the vital link. There have been numerous such instances in the past, but authorities have failed to keep a check on the market.
"It seems the vegetables are on fire, there is fluctuation in rates when we go from one shop to another. It is loot going on in the market," said Mohammad Akram, a city resident.
The shopkeepers on the other hand attribute this to the unavailability of required stock for the increasing rates.
"Due to the prolonged closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway we have suffered great losses. The demand has raised and still we are not selling meat at unaffordable rates. We are selling it on genuine rates," said Wali Mohammad, a butcher at Maharaja Bazar.
"Average demand of meat in Kashmir is around 40 truckloads of sheep, but these days we are receiving only 8 to 10 trucks a day," he added.
Meanwhile market experts held that the demand of essentials has been created in the markets by black-marketers to make huge profits, while the steep price rise is already breaking the back of common man in Kashmir.
"There is a huge black marketing going on in the valley, traders store the stock and then sell it out on high rates when the import stops. This needs to be checked on priority basis," said Mohammad Mutahir, a professor of commerce.
Pertinently the Jammu-Srinagar highway has been closed from the last four days. It was closed after continuous rain and snowfall across Jammu & Kashmir triggered massive landslides at various places on the highway in which a large portion of the road was washed away.
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