Prices skyrocket as Kashmir highway’s shutdown continues

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Amid the ongoing closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, the government on Thursday stated that there was no dearth of essentials and said that “adequate stock is available to ensure the people don’t suffer.”

However, the black marketing as well as skyrocketing prices of essentials especially the food-stuff here has left the consumers to suffer.

According to a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), local consumers said that black marketing and profiteering amid the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway is at its peak.

They alleged the shopkeepers and street vendors are currently out to loot the people as per the will. “The highway closure has always been used as a tactic to loot the people. It’s proving a goldmine for the black marketers as well the shopkeepers who are selling the essentials being used in day-to-day life,” the consumers said.

As already reported by KNO two days back, the consumers are being pushed to the wall as the prices of every essential item especially the foodstuff including the vegetables have gone up all of a sudden, thus leaving them to suffer.

Altaf Ahmad, a local consumer from Rawalpora, said that the vegetable dealers in Mandi should be dealt with strictly as they hoard whenever the only highway gets closed for the traffic.

“The street vendors have nothing to do with the soaring prices of essentials as they are receiving the stuff at exorbitant rates from the respective Mandis,” Ahmad had said, adding that it is unfortunate that the prices of essentials including vegetables vary from place to place.

“We are getting mutton at the cost of Rs. 480 per kg in Lal Chowk areas while in Rawalpora, it is being sold at Rs. 600 per kg,” he said, adding that Kale (Haakh) is being sold at Rs. 100 while Onion, Tomatoes, and Peas also are being sold at exorbitant rates everywhere.

Meanwhile, Director, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Bashir Ahmed Khan told KNO that there is no dearth of essentials as of now, saying that every essential was stocked well on time.

He said that 8,00,000 quintal ration is currently available at FCI which will last for two months while gas is also stocked for almost fifteen days. Khan further stated that adequate petroleum products are also stocked at present, thus there is no need to panic.

About black marketing and skyrocketing prices, Director FCS&CA said that the market checking is going on a daily basis, and in this month only, the department has lodged 45 First Investigation Reports (FIR) against the norm violators while seven shops, too, have been seized so far.

The drive against the norm violators will continue in the future as well, he said. (KNO)

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