Manage markets

This winter we all understood what it means living at a place that is at the mercy of weather for an extended time with the arrival of winters. Just when autumn ends, the administration starts becoming vocal about the need to stock the essential commodities at far flung areas that are contiguous to Kashmir valley. The most talked about areas in this regard are Kargil, and Gurez. It is true that these areas face tremendous hardships during winters. The administration sitting in Srinagar is expected to set into action, and if it doesn’t, it gets censured from people, and genuinely so. But we take things for granted in case of the valley and when we are faced with a problem like the one we are right now. This week the only road link that transports commodities from different parts to the valley is closed. Earlier, it was opened up for just a couple of days to clear the stranded vehicles and allowed some fresh truckloads to arrive here. Before that it was closed for another week. So cumulatively we have been in a state of isolation for most of the time starting this year. In this situation the running out of the essential commodities is a mathematical certainty. In this situation the administration is duty bound to monitor the markets and discourage any attempt at hoarding. Besides this the most important question is that do we have sufficient stocks. When the roads remain closed people tend to shop in bulk and store it in case there is extended closure of the road. This leads to shortage of commodities. Further there are some unscrupulous elements in the market who hold back things for undue profiteering. This creates an artificial shortage of things, hence crisis. In this situation the officials need to sensitise people about how to behave in such situations, and also keep a strict vigil on the markets. Besides the government need to stock the essentials so that there is no such crisis.