Rate row: Mutton shortage affects service in Baramulla hotels

The shortage of mutton across the Valley has affected the service of scores of hotels and restaurants in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The mutton dealers last week stopped supply and sale of meat in Kashmir after the administration sealed some shops that were selling meat at Rs 600 per kg while the government had fixed the rate at Rs 480 per kg.

The hoteliers across Baramulla termed the stalemate over rate fixation of mutton a “huge blow” to their business.

Muhammad Shafi, who owns a hotel at Baramulla, told Greater Kashmir that he was left with no option but to close his establishment temporarily.

“I sent all my employees home and told them to return only after the rate issue is resolved,” he said.

The mutton scarcity has also resulted in postponement of various functions likely to be held this week.

“I postponed my daughter’s engagement ceremony, which was scheduled for Wednesday,” said Muhammad Ishfaq, a resident of Baramulla town.

“Thousands of people are directly or indirectly affected by the stalemate. The government doesn’t realise the seriousness of the situation and continues with its hard approach which will only result in huge loss to the mutton industry,” said Ghulam Rasool, a mutton dealer.

Bashir Ahmad, another mutton dealer, said, “Outside Jammu and Kashmir, mutton is sold at over Rs 650 per kg. How is it possible that the dealers will sell it at Rs 480 per kg here? The authorities should alleviate the people’s sufferings instead of complicating them.”