ummer is just round the corner. However, the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, which is again and again closed, gives out a grimy winter like feeling. The highway closed in the middle of almost what can be called as early summer, does not augur well for the economy of Kashmir. Whatsoever number of tourists who have dodged these terse advisories by coming to Kashmir would be scared away by the day in and day out advisories. The adding of three more lanes to the almost one-lane highway is taking its toll. We are hauling out the underbelly of mountains and they are succumbing upon us amidst downpour. It seems to be an endless saga.
Currently it is affecting Kashmir badly as the prices of vegetables, fruits, chicken and other such items are shooting up. It again shows the lack of production in Kashmir and the fact how joyfully we allowed ourselves to be consumers of what others produce. Now that the highway is closed every Friday for restoration work, it is beyond belief how administration is toying with the eight million population of the Kashmir valley.
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Amazingly, we ourselves gave way to sloth and inactivity. It has come to such a pass that we are dependent on other regions for the vegetables considered local and staple for us. Our rice fields are getting rapidly converted into orchards for cash crops. We are earning lots of money and then giving it away to consume things which people from other states produce.
However, with tourism on peak nowadays if the present state of the highway prolongs and the apple crop in the coming months does not timely reach its intended market, then it is going to be again a year of distress for our economy. The government has time and again been reminded of the fact that an alternate highway is the need of the hour but the government for some strange reasons often thinks of it as a needless exercise.
Eight million souls continue to suffer and not a leaf is ruffled. This shows how important our well being is for the establishment.