As Truckers' and Oil Tankers' Associations went on indefinite strike, the supply of essential commodities, petroleum products and export of fruits to outside state are badly hit, with traders fearing scarcity of vitals in coming days in case the strike continues.
According to Kashmir-based traders, the indefinite strike called by these associations across J&K since Saturday has resulted in halting of flow of essential commodities to Kashmir from various parts of India.
Most petrol-cum-diesel outlets on Sunday ran out of supplies as no oil tanker reached here, said retailers. "Usually we have two tankers which refill our petrol pump everyday, but none turned up on Sunday," said a Nowgam-based petrol outlet owner.
The transport organizations, ferrying essential supplies to Jammu and Kashmir, began the "indefinite strike" and calling for halt of supply of commodities in the state, including to security forces, alleging attacks on their trucks in Kashmir.
President of Wholesale Mutton Dealers' Association, Mehraj-ud-Din, said in case the truckers' strike continues, there could be an impact on availability of mutton since supply of sheep to Kashmir mostly happens from 'mandis' in Delhi and Punjab.
"Eight to 10 truckloads of livestock were loaded on Sunday from various outside mandis and would be on their way to Kashmir. If the strike intensifies, there is a possibility of a complete halt to the supply. Apart from police, we also continue to face threat of local goons in Punjab," he said.
Similarly, the strike will affect supply of vegetables and other eatables as Kashmir is heavily dependent on outside supplies for meeting the daily needs.
Kashmir's mainstay of economy—Horticulture—is also in dire straits following the strike call given by truckers ferrying fruits outside the state, thus resulting in halting of export of fruits, mostly apple, during this peak season.
President of Sopore Fruit Mandi, Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray, said restrictions imposed by authorities have already hit their business badly. "Now strike by transporters means that fruit won't be transported to outside markets as they won't allow trucks to travel on Srinagar-Jammu highway," he said.
"Already the restrictions have taken a toll on export of fruit. Last year, during this time we used to send around 175 truckloads to outside mandis but this year, only 30 to 35 fruit-laden trucks are sent from Sopore Fruit Mandi to outside, which itself reveals how much slump the fruit industry is witnessing," he said. "Forces are not even allowing fruit growers from far-flung areas to reach Sopore Fruit Mandi."
Meanwhile, petrol outlets in Chenab Valley including Kishtwar district are not filling fuel in vehicles. Most pumps are claiming to be dry owing to the ongoing truckers' strike.
Hundreds of private and government vehicles are stranded on petrol outlets in Kishtwar.