Srinagar, Apr 19: The prices of all essential commodities — including meat, chicken, milk, fruits and vegetables — have skyrocketed since the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan in Kashmir valley, where authorities have turned a deaf ear towards the suffering of the people.
“There was absolutely no check on the prices of essential commodities by the Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department (FCS&CA),” agitated people alleged in Srinagar city.
They said the prices of all commodities, particularly vegetables and fruits, were very high against the government approved rates.
Meanwhile, the political parties, including National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and CPI(M), last week urged the administration to keep essentials available to people during Ramadan as people were going for panic buying, hoarding and black-marketing in the valley.
A UNI correspondent, who visited a number of markets today in the civil lines, downtown and uptown in Srinagar saw traders selling essential commodities on higher rates with people readily buying them.
However, people allege that the divisional administration has failed to control the prices during the month of Ramadan as there department which is responsible for price control is in a deep slumber.
“We have no option but to purchase vegetables and other essential commodities on whatever price they are being sold as the administration is indifferent towards the suffering of the people,” Nazir Ahmad Khan, a resident of Srinagar, told UNI.
Shabir Ahmad, a resident of Nowgam, said that he purchased chicken at Rs 180 per kilogram while Rs 320 was being charged for boneless chicken. Similarly, he said meat was being sold at Rs 600 per kg, against approved Rs 535 per kg by most of the butchers in the city.
“The shopkeepers are not ready to accept the government rates and with non visibility of checking squads they are given a freehand to do whatever they like,” he alleged.
The rates of vegetables have increased by 50 to 90 per cent during the last over a fortnight. A kg of peas, which was just Rs 50 per kg a fortnight ago, was being sold at Rs 80 per kg. Even ‘Saag’, green leafy Kashmiri vegetable costs Rs 80 per kg while a kg of tomato costs Rs 60. The prices of almost all other vegetables, including those being imported from other states and grown within the Union Territory, have gone up.
The price of watermelon, which is consumed in abundance during the month of Ramadan, is being sold at Rs 40 per kg while the prices of other fruits have also increased significantly.
Similar reports of rise of prices of essential commodities were coming from other districts of the valley.