SRINAGAR: Except rice and kerosene, all other essentials including LPG may run out between a week and 15 days from now in Kashmir, while mutton supply has almost dried up, traders said on Sunday as the vital Srinagar-Jammu highway continued to stay closed.
Stocks of rice, the staple food in the valley, and of kerosene remain available for two months with the government, but LPG, the cooking fuel, may last for a week only, said Mohammad Qasim Wani, Director of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.
“We have stock of eight lakh quintals of rice, which will survive for two months. We have 50 lakh litres of kerosene which will sustain for 45 days, and 80,000 cylinders of LPG which will last five days,” Qasim said, adding that about 17,000 LPG cylinders are sent out for supplies every day.
Petrol and diesel, automobile fuels, will last for just two weeks in case the road remains closed. A spokesperson of the Petroleum and Diesel Association told Kashmir Reader that companies operating in Kashmir have assured that petrol supplies will last for a week and diesel for more than 15 days.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan had earlier directed all petrol stations to limit the sale of petrol to three litres a day per vehicle, while diesel was restricted to 10 litres. He had also asked to maintain separate stock for government vehicles.
Mutton is almost out of stock in the entire valley. The last supply, according to Mehraj, general secretary of mutton dealers association, was of 15,000 live sheep and goats, which lasted just three days. Since then, the road which supplies nearly 100 percent of livestock during winters in Kashmir, has been closed.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway has become the sole link of Kashmir with the world since other routes, like the Jehlum Valley road, was closed by the Government of India at the time of Partition in 1947. Other roads like the Silk Road which connected Kashmir with Tibet, the Gurez road which connected with Gilgit, and the Mughal road which connected to Jammu and Bimber (now in Pakistan) were also shut down.
Kashmiri political leaders and civil society have both been saying for long that re-opening the old roads will reduce dependency of Kashmir on the Srinagar-Jammu highway which frequently shuts down during winter.