With the onset of the holy month of Ramadhan, prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, giving a tough time to the people at large.
People have alleged that with the onset of Ramadhan, wholesalers and retailers have resorted to overpricing which has left them high and dry.
People alleged that the Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs has failed to keep a check on the rising prices of essential commodities.
Before the onset of Ramadhan, the onions were sold at Rs 25 per kg but are now being sold at Rs 40 per kg while spinach and Kashmiri Saag are being sold at Rs 70 per kg.
The rates of potatoes, cauliflower, carrot, peas, beans, and tomatoes have also doubled.
"I fail to understand that if wholesalers and retailers have old stock available then how they could resort to overpricing in this holy month," said a local from Kupwara.
The fruits have also witnessed a steep rise in prices.
Pomegranates which were sold at Rs 80 per kg are now being sold at Rs 150 per kg.
Likewise, black grapes are being sold at Rs 300 per kg sold earlier at Rs 240 per kg prior to Ramadhan.
The rates of other fruits too have raised manifold.The prices of eggs, mutton, beef and chicken have also witnessed rise in prices.
Eggs which were sold at Rs 5 per egg are now being sold at Rs 7 per egg.
Chicken and mutton have also witnessed substantial rise and are being sold at Rs 170 and Rs 600 per kg.
People alleged that the rates provided by Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs are not being adhered to by the wholesale dealers and retailers.
"It is not our fault but of wholesale dealers in Srinagar and, accordingly, we sell vegetables to the customers," said Ishfaq Ahmad, a vegetable retailer.
Meanwhile, Assistant Director Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Kupwara, Mudasir Ahmad said that the department has taken the issue seriously and till now several FIRs had been lodged against the erring shopkeepers and thousands of rupees recovered as fine from them.
He said that the drive would continue in future so that a check is maintained on the price of essential commodities.
About chicken being sold at Rs 170 per kg across Kupwara district, he said that the rate for broiler chicken has been fixed at Rs 125 per kg and whosoever would be found selling chicken beyond Rs 125 would be dealt according to the law.