This winter there has been no snowfall yet. Subsequently, the vehicular traffic movement on the vital Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is going on smoothly.
The supply of essential commodities to Kashmir through the highway is also continuing without any disruption. And there is no shortage of the essentials in the market. Even then the prices keep on going up in the markets. The vegetables, fruits, eggs, chicken, mutton and other food items are sold sometimes exorbitantly.
The price hike is unjustified and in total violation of the rates fixed by the government. If the scenario in the markets is like this right now, one can well imagine what the scene be like in the markets when there is snowfall and highway is closed. In such situations, the customers are made to pay through their nose.
The concerned department will have to devise a permanent mechanism to check the unjustified price rise. Several steps have been taken in past but those do not seem successful. There is a need to implement effective measures. The concerned officials have been saying that they try to keep prices under check by market checking during which the violators are booked and fined. According to them one reason why we fail is the non-cooperation of the consumers.
They say hardly any consumer comes forward to lodge a complaint against unjustified price hike by shopkeepers. Mostly they buy the items on exorbitant rates. If they come forward and lodge complaints against exploitation, checking the price rise can become easy.
The consumers have to play their role, otherwise all the steps taken will prove futile. Several customers do not like to object to the unjustified price hike by the shopkeepers. This affects those sections of people who are not financially that strong.
Putting the prices under control is a collective responsibility but the concerned government authorities will have to play their role strongly in this direction.