Amid shortage of essentials, people in Kargil queue up to get fresh vegetables after 4 months

Ladakh becomes third administrative, revenue division of Jammu and Kashmir

Amid shortage of essential commodities particularly fresh fruits, vegetables and dates in Kargil district of Ladakh region, a large number of people Saturday morning thronged Khree Sultan Chow Stadium where they lined up for vegetables procured by the administration.

People from different areas of the Kargil district queued up in large numbers to get fresh vegetables after four months due to closure of Srinagar-Leh highway.

The highway was closed in December last year.

The Srinagar-Leh highway is the main connectivity between Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir for transportation.

However inclement weather conditions this year led to delay in early reopening of the Srinagar-Leh highway.

A local said that they have not seen any fresh vegetables for the past four months adding that there was a shortage of essential commodities in Kargil and they were facing inconvenience during the holy month of Ramadhan.

They alleged that the Kargil district administration as well as Ladakh administration seems completely helpless to provide basic essential commodities.

After a massive outcry over shortage of essential commodities in Kargil, the Ladakh administration decided to airlift certain basic commodities.

Sources said that the religious heads of Kargil had earlier informed and warned the administration about the crisis and asked them to come up with a suitable solution.

Meanwhile, in order to take stock of the status of the availability of essential commodities in the district, especially in view of the ongoing holy month of Ramadhan, Chairman and Chief Executive Councilor LAHDC, Kargil, Feroz Ahmad Khan convened a meeting of the concerned officers at the council secretariat here.

Executive Councilor for Cooperatives and Information Mubarak Shah Nagvi, Deputy Registrar Cooperatives Kargil Zakir Hussain, Assistant Director, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Ruth Mary, Executive Engineer Public Health Engineering (PHE) Division Subhash Chander, Tehsildar Kargil Muhammad Salim Wazir besides other concerned officers were present during the meeting.

The CEC inquired from the concerned officers about the availability of essential commodities in the markets besides the status of distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables, dates and milk received through air maintenance.

He also took stock of the status of requisition placed for procurement of essential commodities through air from Chandigarh to Kargil till the time the Zojila axis is opened for traffic.

The Deputy Registrar Cooperatives Kargil told the meeting that essential commodities including 4.2 tonnes of onion, 2.2 tonnes cabbage and 3 quintals of dates had reached Kargil which would be distributed among the general public through the Meat Dealers Cooperative Society.

He said that 14.9 tonnes of fresh vegetables and fruits and 8 tonnes of milk had been received on 15th April, 2021 which had been distributed on 16th April 2021 among the consumers and retailers.

Regarding the demand of essential commodities for the coming days till the re-opening of Zojila Pass, the concerned officers informed that the CEC that the District Administration had placed a requisition for enhancement of tonnage for airlifting of essential commodities to 40 tonnes to the Indian Air Force (IAF) through Divisional Commissioner Ladakh.

The CEC instructed the Deputy Registrar Cooperatives Kargil to include the provision of milk, eggs, vegetables, fruits and dates keeping in view the requirement of these essential items to the people till the time Zojila Pass opens for vehicular traffic.

The CEC Kargil took up the matter regarding expedition of snow clearance operations on the Zojila axis from Sonamarg side with LG Ladakh, Advisor to LG and the Divisional Commissioner Ladakh so that the highway is cleared for traffic at the earliest.

He also urged the LG Ladakh to take up the matter regarding the enhancement of tonnage for procurement of essential commodities from Chandigarh to Kargil and Leh with the Indian Air Force authorities to suffice the requirements of the people for essential items, especially in view of the holy month of Ramadhan.

The LG Ladakh, Advisor to LG and the Divisional Commissioner Ladakh assured the CEC Kargil that all requisite measures would be taken to make sure that the snow clearance operations on the Zojila axis from Sonamarg side are accelerated and tonnage for procurement of essential commodities from Chandigarh to Kargil and Leh was enhanced to ensure smooth provision of essential commodities to the people.