Prices of essential commodities, fruits and vegetables are hiked in the markets from time to time.
However, the markets present a worse scenario in winters. More so when the Srinagar – Jammu National Highway gets frequently blocked due to snow, landslides or shooting stones.
The prices sky rocket during these times and hoarding and profiteering becomes almost a permanent practice in markets. Even the prices of mutton and chicken go up.
The sky rocketing of prices is not something new. It has been hitting the consumers for decades. The successive governments have failed to curb it or find a solution.
Sometimes some checking is being done by teams in some markets and the violators booked and fined. These drives have proved insufficient to check the menace of hoarding and profiteering.
The reason being that there are not adequate teams available who can go for inspections in the markets on large scale. There is shortage of man power in such teams.
If the teams are strengthened through man power they can go to more markets and provide some fruitful results. Secondly, most consumers succumb to the tendency of price hike in markets. Only a few lodge complaints against the violators, while rest buy vegetables, fruits, mutton and chicken on exorbitant rates.
That way the violators get encouraged and they sell the items as per their wishes without any fear of being fined or booked for the violations.
The consumers must come forward and help in getting those resorting to hoarding and profiteering booked. Otherwise, these malpractices will continue and people would continue to suffer.
The concerned officials must also take the issue seriously and try to find out a solution.
They should not be non-serious on the pretext that such malpractices were happening in past and will continue to happen. This mindset has to be given up and concrete actions taken to bring the prices under control.
The winter with it brings several problems for people on various fronts. The problem of price hike is one among those and can bet solved with collective efforts of consumers, concerned officials and shopkeepers.