Shortage of essential commodities in Leh; locals, tourists suffer

Excelsior Correspondent

LEH, May 9: Due to closure of Srinagar-Leh National Highway, which reopened only couple of days ago, shortage of essential commodities has hit the Union Territory of Ladakh while the tourist season has also been delayed.

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Dr Ishey Namgyal, general secretary Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) said due to closure of Srinagar-Leh road, there has been shortage of essential commodities including milk, vegetables, butter and some other items.
“Not only the local people but even the tourists who had reached Leh have been affected by shortage of commodities,” he said.
Namgyal was of the view that the authorities should declare the highway open only when it can sustain for summer and not just for 2-3 days only to be closed again
“When the highway is opened for 2-3 days, the tourists start coming but they suffer due to closure of road again,” he noted.
Pointing out that shortage of essential commodities is not just confined to Leh and Kargil districts, the LBA general secretary said Nubra, Changthang and other areas have also been affected.
He disclosed that few days back, the tourists on way to Leh were held up at Sonamarg and Keylong which sends wrong message across the country and those planning to visit Ladakh cancel their trips.
A prominent hotelier expressed hope that since the road has opened couple of days back, the shortage of essential commodities will be over as the supplies have started reaching and more will come in the next few days.
“We are dependent on most of the essential commodities from Jammu, Srinagar and other parts of the country. Authorities should ensure that Srinagar-Leh National Highway, the lifeline of Ladakh Union Territory, remains open for most of the period,” he said.
A businessman too echoed the similar sentiments.
Declining to be named, he said the Government should ensure that Srinagar-Leh National Highway is through for most of the time to ensure that there is no shortage of essential commodities.

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