Half of the January month is over and if one is truthful about the Jammu-Srinagar highway one can say it with ease that the highway remained motorable for three of four days. This has been happening for quite long now and now that a portion of the highway has caved in near Ramban the authorities are saying that the traffic cannot ply on the road for another nine to ten days.
This winter like in the past too, the highway has witnessed innumerable closures that too for longer periods of time. The situation turned chaotic in Kashmir last week when even the fuel supplies run in short supply causing a concern among the masses here.
The highway has been behaving quite badly during the past many years now. During this time of the year this in nothing unusual as the ill maintained road has been witnessing frequent closures during the winter months.
But what has shocked the people, especially living in Kashmir valley is the obnoxious planning the civil administration has been resorting to. The highway troubles have been resulting in short supply of food items, fuel and LPG supply in the valley.
This winter the closure of the arterial Highway led to depletion of fuel stocks in Kashmir to such an extent that the authorities were forced to direct fuel pumps to provide limited fuel to vehicles per day.
Though the order was not being implemented and followed, but the situation reflects the failure of the administration that the stocks had depleted to such a level that supplies could not suffice for three days.
The situation is also alarming on the LPG stocks as the authorities have been directing the LPG companies to provide cylinders to households after 50 or 60 days.
The appalling situation apart, the alarm set-in by the government itself has meant that hoarding is at its peak in the valley as of now. There has been no fresh supply of vegetables and fruits and whatever was available in the markets and mandies is being sold on high prices with the authorities taking pride in announcing that all is well.
Just yesterday peas which were sold 25 Rs a kilo, were being sold 60 Rs a kilogram. The same has been applied to all other vegetables with the consumer feeling the heat at the end of the day.
The green leafy vegetables have gone missing from the common man’s menu as during the winter months Kashmir is dependent on supplies from Jammu and Punjab for its vegetables and fruits.
However, amidst all this the administration has been assuring the people that enough stocks have been made available here for the people.
The ground situation is that the administration has failed miserably on all fronts and no effort is being made to bring in some sanity in the markets where a common man is being looted ruthlessly.