Srinagar, Feb 05: The frequent closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has caused a shortage of essentials, resulting in the hike of their prices.

During winters, the residents face problems due to the frequent disruptions in the traffic movement on the highway which adds to a decline in the food supplies.

A resident from Hyderpora said, “The price of the vegetables is touching the sky as there is a difference of almost Rs 30 to 40 as compared to earlier prices.”

While visiting markets, this reporter found that the prices of vegetables have increased in less than a month’s time. Spinach which few days before was sold for Rs 40 to 50 per kg is now sold at Rs 70 to 80 per kg. Similarly, onion is being sold around Rs 30 to 35, when less than a month ago it was only Rs 20 only.

Ghulam Mohammad, a butcher from Koker Bazaar said, “There is a lack of supply and we have not received a fresh supply for a long time due to which I am forced to keep my shop shut.”

“The frequent highway blockade has led to the high prices of essentials and other commodities, including mutton,” said a resident from Karan Nagar.

The Government has fixed Rs 400 per kg of meat. In contrary, the butchers sell each kg for Rs 450 approximately.

Nazir Ahmed Mir, Joint Director of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs, Kashmir told The Kashmir Monitor, “Srinagar-Jammu Highway is the only surface link connecting the Valley with the rest of the country. It is obvious that when the road is blocked there is a shortage of essentials due to which the prices of the commodities especially vegetables and other commodities usually are imported from other states get drastically increased.”

Mir further said, “As the prices of the food supplies get hiked, many marketers take advantage of this and act like ‘black sheep’.”

When asked about the controlling the prices which are hiked by the shopkeepers by themselves, he added “We have a team which inspects such black marketers and regulates the prices, but it is not possible to visit every shop. So this is also the duty of commoners as they should be cautious and should approach us if they find a genuine complaint.”

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