Home » Latest » CONCERN: Cost of frequent highway closure this winter: Rs 3,325 crore.

CONCERN: Cost of frequent highway closure this winter: Rs 3,325 crore.

Intermittent closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway this winter has caused Kashmir economy a loss of roughly Rs 3,325 crore, which is about Rs 95 crore a day on an average.

During the past three months, the road has been closed for 35 days due to landslides. The losses have a cascading effect on the economy of the Valley as it disturbs trade cycle. For example, closure of road creates shortage of supplies and raw material, so the industries have to pay idle wages. Some businesses that depend on outside supplies, like butchers, sit idle for the period the road is closed.

The recently-released government figures say that J&K imported goods and raw material worth Rs 58,050 crore in 2017-18, 60 per cent of which (around Rs 34,800 crore) was imported to the Kashmir division.

Though there has not been a detailed study on the highway-closure losses, business leaders say 30 per cent worth of supplies are losses, as trucks from other parts of the state carry perishable goods, which, once stuck in the highway, lose their value on arrival in the Valley.

Being an import-driven state, around 80 per cent of goods and raw material come from other parts of the country, officials say.

“Apart from the situation, the miserable condition of Srinagar-Jammu highway is our biggest cause of concern.  Businessmen have to pay idle wages to the staff, sales have drastically reduced due to non-availability of supplies,” said president Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries Sheikh Ashiq.

Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance Muhammad Yaseen Khan lashed out at the governor’s administration for its “callous approach”.

“Governor’s administration has miserably failed the people of Kashmir this time. Due to prolonged closure of the highway, supplies have dried up, which in turn has stoked price rise. Prices of eatables have skyrocketed while as the business community suffers huge losses.”

“This winter, the lone usable link between Kashmir and rest of the world remained closed for most of the time as even a slight drizzle led to suspension of traffic, which is absurd in this era. Communication and road links are backbone of any economy, unfortunately in Kashmir we have been denied both,” he added.

The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Index has given only one index point to J&K, placing it at the bottom of the list of states having “worst logistic” connectivity in India.The recently-released government figures say that J&K imported goods and raw material worth Rs 58,050 crore in 2017-18, 60 per cent of which (around Rs 34,800 crore) was imported to the Kashmir division.

Though there has not been a detailed study on the highway-closure losses, business leaders say 30 per cent worth of supplies are losses, as trucks from other parts of the state carry perishable goods, which, once stuck in the highway, lose their value on arrival in the Valley.

Being an import-driven state, around 80 per cent of goods and raw material come from other parts of the country, officials say.

“Apart from the situation, the miserable condition of Srinagar-Jammu highway is our biggest cause of concern.  Businessmen have to pay idle wages to the staff, sales have drastically reduced due to non-availability of supplies,” said president Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries Sheikh Ashiq.Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance Muhammad Yaseen Khan lashed out at the governor’s administration for its “callous approach”.

“Governor’s administration has miserably failed the people of Kashmir this time. Due to prolonged closure of the highway, supplies have dried up, which in turn has stoked price rise. Prices of eatables have skyrocketed while as the business community suffers huge losses.”

“This winter, the lone usable link between Kashmir and rest of the world remained closed for most of the time as even a slight drizzle led to suspension of traffic, which is absurd in this era. Communication and road links are backbone of any economy, unfortunately in Kashmir we have been denied both,” he added.

The Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Index has given only one index point to J&K, placing it at the bottom of the list of states having “worst logistic” connectivity in India.

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