Srinagar, May 21 : Unlike previous years, the prices of dates have increased in the Kashmir markets in the ensuing holy month of Ramadhan, thanks to the major decrease in supply mostly due to suspension of cross LoC trade. The soaring prices of dates have forced the people of Kashmir to go for the less purchase of dates.
Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, a wholesale dealer of dates explained that less arrival of dates this year was responsible for the prices to increase by 15 to 20 per cent. “Kashmir has recorded the arrival of less date as compared to same time last year mostly due to suspension of cross LoC trade. Almost 20- 30 per cent decrease in arrival has caused the prices to go up” said Sheikh.
According to traders, prices of non-branded as well as branded dates have increased by at least 15-20 in the local markets. While last year one kilogram of unbranded dates was sold at Rs 90- Rs 100, this year it is sold at Rs 150- Rs 200, said the traders.
Farooq Dagga, a dates’ merchant told KNO that there has been some impact due to levy of 12 per cent Goods and Services Tax on the market prices of dates for last couple of years. “While there is almost increase of Rs 20 – Rs 30 per kg due to GST, dates which used to arrive through LoC trade mostly in form of dry low priced dates is witnessing a shortage,” said Dagga.
Even Ajwa dates, considered as pious and rich in medicinal value by Muslims across the world, priced anywhere between Rs 2000- Rs 2200 per kilogram in the local markets has seen an increase in prices. 40 plus varieties of dates that have arrived in Kashmir for Ramadhan this year which commenced on May 6 have seen an increase in prices proving to be a burden on common people.
Dates merchants at Parimpora fruit mandi said dates from Oman, Algeria, Iran and Iraq among other Muslim countries also find many buyers in the local market. These varieties which include Rabi, Razan, Kaas, Nawar, Jumar, Barari priced in the range of Rs 150 to Rs 2000 per kg have also seen an increase of 15 – 20 per cent, said another trader.
“Dates from Iraq and Pakistan used to find many takers in the local market but due to suspension of cross LoC trade there supplies have dried up. Even Israel exports dates across the world and this produce used to be also available in the Valley,” Muhammad Saleem Bhat, a fruit merchant told KNO.
Forest Protection Force seizes illicit timber in Rafiabad
Baramulla, June 17: Forest Protection Force Baramulla Monday claimed seized 80 feet illegal timber from smugglers in Rafiabad forest area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
An official said that Forest Protection Force unit K07 Baramulla seized illicit timber being smuggled from Rafiabad forest area of the district.
“A team of forest protection force seized a vehicle bearing registration number JK02R 1756 laden with illicit timber in Rafiabad. The smugglers escaped from the spot however timber worth lakhs was seized by the team near Tragpora Rafiabad. A case has been registered and manhunt for the smugglers has been launched,” the official said.
He said that the timber was axed down by smugglers in upper belt of Rafiabad and was being smuggled to urban areas of the district.
Akhtar expresses dismay over lack of dev in B’pora
Srinagar, Jun 17: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar toured various far-flung areas of north Kashmir’s Bandipora in order to get the first-hand appraisal of the grievances being faced by the people in these remote hamlets of the constituency.
Akhtar visited Chandaji area where recently two young were killed due to the windstorm. Expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, he questioned the delay being done by the government in disbursement of ex-gratia in favour of the next kin of the victims.
Also, while meeting several peoples’ delegations in the area,
Akhtar was appraised about the lack of proper road connectivity and how in spite of the approved scheme under PMGSY, no work on the project has been started yet.
Akhtar also spoke to the concerned Chief Engineer over the issue who assured him that the work on the road will begin soon.
The PDP leader, meanwhile, urged the government to ensure that present development season is not lost and take into consideration the hardships being faced by the inhabitants of the area as they have to walk through 7 km long tough terrains to reach the main road.
Akhtar also expressed concern over the non- implementation of the SAUBHAGYA scheme, stating that till date only half of the hamlet has been covered under the said scheme, thus contradicting claim of the Prime Minister that every single hamlet has been electrified. He urged the government to address the issue on priority so that people aren’t made to face further problems on this front.
Akhtar also highlighted the issue pertaining to the lack mobile telephony services in the area. He said that as Gurez and Bandipora are already connected, it is the only place where there is no mobile connectivity. The PDP leader said that it will need just one mobile tower to bring the area on the communication map.
Further, Akhtar also visited several other areas where the recent hailstorm had wrecked havoc. He has urged the government to compensate the victims on priority at an earliest.
The former minister also expressed dismay over the dismal pace of work on main Bandipora road from Ajas to Sonarwani being executed under CRF. He said that keeping in view the snail’s pace of work, it doesn’t look like that it will be completed in December this year which is the target completion date of the road project.
He also questioned government’s non- serious approach as the work on Athwadu Sonarwani road project is yet to begin, adding peoples woes to a large extent.
CB arrests man impersonating as official from CS’s office
Srinagar, June 17: The crime branch of Jammu on Monday arrested a man from Talab Tillo Jammu for impersonating as an official of Chief Secretary’s office. The fraudster according to the statement issued here, has duped several senior officers of various departments.
The person identified as Ashwani Bhardwaj, son of Shiv Kumar Bhardwaj, a resident of JMC 39, House No 223, Mohalla Jhullka, Darbar Garh Jammu, have ho duped and cheated numerous senior officers of various departments by fraudulent means.
The fraudulent activities of accused Ashwani Bhardwaj came to light after Director Tourism, Kashmir filed a complaint against a person who claimed to be an officer of a personal section of Chief Secretary’s office and asked him to direct the Assistant Director Tourism, Leh to contact on his mobile No 9797578686.
The fraudster was contacted by AAssistant Director Tourism Leh, and he asked Assistant Director Tourism, Leh to deposited Rs 10,000 in A/c No. 36341661376 of SBI on the plea that some of his relatives are presently stuck in Leh and are in severe need of money and have no source of means there.
Subsequently the Assistant Director of Tourism, Leh transferred an amount of Rs 10,000 in the given account. Later on, during the enquiry, it came to fore that there is no such official in the personal section of Chief Secretary etc.
On receipt of this complaint, Crime Branch begun an enquiry based on preliminary information and it was found that the said accused has duped several other senior officers of J&K by impersonation and fraudulent means and cheated them worth lakhs of rupees. Accordingly, a case FIR No 34/2019 U/s 170,420 RPC was registered in Crime Branch Jammu and the investigation was entrusted to SI Hilal Azhar of CBJ. The accused Ashwani Bhardwaj was arrested by a special team led by SI Hilal Azhar after hectic efforts under the supervision of SP Crime Mushtaq Choudhary. The accused is presently on police remand and involvement in other cases is being investigated.
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