‘Multiple curbs on highway may affect essential supplies’ » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, May 09 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, people in the Kashmir valley are facing a crisis situation in the holy month of Ramadan due to shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables in the market, while prices of mutton will likely shoot up as supply trucks are facing multiple curbs on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

The Joint Secretary of New Kashmir Fruit Association, Parimpora, Shahid Chaudhry in a statement issued in Srinagar said the highway ban and the fresh order of toll tax will affect the supply chain and prices may escalate, putting extra burden on consumers.

He said, “We are not able to cater to the demand of consumers as our supply trucks are being stopped frequently at multiple checkpoints, often for several days. No truck is allowed to pass without paying bribe to the police at Udhampur and Ramban districts.”

He said that the unnecessary curbs had resulted in huge losses to business because traders are forced to throw away the spoiled fruits and vegetables. “These curbs must end, otherwise, we will face a crisis situation in coming days with prices shooting up,” he added.

General Secretary of the Mutton Dealers Association, Meraaj-ud-Din Ganai, said that trucks carrying livestock were allowed to move on the highway after being halted for more than 7 days. “We faced huge losses due to death of animals in the stranded trucks. Policemen at multiple checkpoints continue to charge Rs 1,800 from each truck driver. There is a mafia raj which is affecting our business dearly,” he said.

The President of Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yasin Khan, in his statement condemned the continued curbs on the highway and appealed for easing the supply of essential commodities in the holy month of Ramadan.

“Supply of essential commodities must reach the valley 24/7 in Ramadan because the demand of essential items increases manifold in the month of fasting,” he said.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan admitted that his office had received multiple complaints about supply trucks being stopped on the highway and bribes take by policemen. He said strict instructions have been issued that no supply trucks of essential items like mutton, poultry, fruits, vegetables and other perishable should be stopped.

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