1 week of highway closure shoots up prices in Kashmir

The week-long closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway has shot up prices of essential commodities in Kashmir, with people alleging black marketing and hoarding by unscrupulous traders.

A market survey by this reporter in various areas of Srinagar revealed that prices of vegetables, poultry and other essential items, have risen sharply for the past two days.

“The prices of onion and tomato have touched 100 rupees. In absence of strict measures by the government, it is a common consumer who suffers,” said Farooq Ahmed, a shopper at Hazratbal.

The consumers at many places blamed “hoarding” and “black-marketing” for price hike. The consumers alleged that even the cooking gas is being sold at higher prices in black market.

“Almost 3 days back I bought cooking gas at more than thousand rupees,” Rameez Ahmed, a local said.

Consumers complained that meat was still being sold at 600 rupees across many markets in Srinagar.

Director, Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Bashir Ahmed Khan said that strict action is being taken on ground against violators. He assured that the administration has enough stock for the next 14 days.

“Over past few months action has been taken against 677 defaulters. These include those involved in black marketing, hoarding and those who sell essential items at prices higher than what are fixed by the administration. In the past few weeks we have sealed seven shops and 43 FIRs have been registered against violators,” Khan said.