Prices of all essential commodities have shot up in Doda and Kishtwar districts as the two hilly districts remain cut off from the rest of the country,following heavy landslides on the Assar-Batote national highway 1B.
Official sources informed that all the essential commodities including LPG and vegetables are being sold on highly exorbitant rates.
The two districts are running short of the LPG and vegetables,sources informed,adding that the supply of the food grains has not been taken up so far,as the districts have enough food grains for at least one month.
However,the LPG and the vegetables are being supplied from Jammu up to Trungal near Assar through transport and then,through trans-ships towards Assar to Doda and Kishtwar.
Sources informed that 300 LPG cylinders and two tankers of petroleum oil were transported from Jammu up to Trungal near Assar. The petroleum oil was further taken in gallons of 25 to 30 litres for distribution in Doda and Kishtwar.
A deputation of people also met district administration in Doda town,alleging that people are being made to pay high prices for the essential commodities including LPG.
However,deputy commissioner Doda Sayed Sharaf-ud-din assured the deputation that no exorbitant prices will be charted and special squads have been formed to such mal-practices.
Divisional Commissioner,Pawan Kotwal said that prices of LPG and a few other essential commodities have marginally increased as the porters have been engaged by dealers for trans-ships and the additional increase on the prices is because of freight charges of trans-ships.
Additional Deputy Commissioner,Doda Ram Rattan Sharma said that the porters are charging Rs 30 per LPG for the trans-ship,at Trangul-Assar. The additional charge,which is being born by people,will be subsidised by the state government shortly and there will be no extra burden on the people,as the former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and present deputy chief minister Tara Chand,who visited Doda on Wednesday,said that the matter of subsidy will be taken up with the government and subsidy will be granted.
Azad and Tara Chand,along with Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Pawan Kotwal,took an aerial review of the damaged Assar-Batote road,and later held a high level meeting with district administration of Doda.
They assured people that the essential supplies will be maintained at any cost and they will not be made to suffer.
They also instructed district administration for earliest completion of the two optional roads,Bani-Bhaderwah and the new alignment of Assar-Batote.
Meanwhile,Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Pawan Kotwal,said that choppers have also been pressed into service for medical exigencies to airlift patients in far-flung areas in Doda and Kishtwar,and roughly one dozen patients have been airlifted in past two days to respective district hospitals.
Meanwhile,former Minister and sitting Member Legislative Council Mohammad Sharief Niaz in a statement,demanded chopper service for the people of Doda and Kishtwar districts in view of the road blockage at Trungal Assar which is sinking day by day especially from Baggar to Doda,cutting off the population of these districts from the rest of the entire state.
Niaz demanded that an alternative road from Kussar- Sudhmahadev to Dranga- Marmat of Doda District may be taken up by way of construction of a tunnel which will reduce the road length from Jammu to Doda upto 50 kms.