Kashmir’s Favourite Leafy Green Sold For Rs 5500-6000, Kashmiri Rice For Rs 3600 Per 100 Kg In Open Market
By Majid Nabi
Srinagar- As the standoff over mutton prices continued in Kashmir for nearly a month, Haakh, or collard green, a staple veggie for every household in the Valley, has surpassed the price of aromatic Kashmiri rice, which is sold at Rs 3600 per 100 kg in the open market.
Haakh, which was sold at Rs 25 to 30, a day before the Valley received the first major snowfall of the season, is now being sold at Rs 55 to 60 per kg. Collard green, quality and taste of which varies as per the place of cultivation, has this way surpassed the rate of famous Kashmiri rice.
Haakh witnessed a steep hike overnight and almost doubled the price of Kashmiri rice which is sold at Rs 3600 per 100 kg in the open market.
The green veggie as per present market rate is sold at Rs 5500 to 6000 per 100 kg, authorities, however sought few days time to resolve the issue.
“Haakh has been an essential and everyday appetite for Kashmiri households for centuries. Rich or poor, everyone craves for Haakh if they won’t eat for a day or two. Growers, however, sell it at exorbitant rates whenever there is slightest change in the climate, especially when it is snowing in Kashmir,” Mohammad Sultan, a roadside vendor at Hazratbal told Kashmir Observer.
It is worth mentioning that Haakh is cooked diversely with fish (gaade haakh) smoked or dried fish (hogad/ phari haakh), cheese (tchamni haakh) and mutton (maaz haakh) and is liked by and one all being all seasons and affordable veggie.
Similarly, ‘haak anchar’ is the most liked variety of pickle in Kashmir, followed by pickle made by carrot mixed with cauliflower, lotus stem and radish.
Haakh grown in old cities Narwara-Kawdara belt area is preferred by the people of Kashmir for its taste and availability all year round, while ‘haenz haakh’ which is grown in the interiors of Dal Lake is available in winters only.
“I was surprised when a vegetable seller in my locality said the price of haakh per kg has increased by Rs 30. I bought haakh at Rs 25 a day earlier. What could be done, I bought it as per current market rate,” Showkat Ahmad, a ‘haakh devourer’ said.
It may be in place to mention that a standoff on mutton prices continues between the authorities and mutton dealers in Kashmir for over a month.
While retail dealers are seemingly adamant on whatever they offer to consumers, authorities sealed hundreds of shops across the valley for selling mutton against prescribed rates.
When contacted, Director Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department Kashmir (FCS&CAD), Abdul Salam Mir told Kashmir Observer that there is no shortage of mutton in Kashmir, however the government wants dealers to sell mutton at prescribed rates.
When asked as to why the meeting between the officials of Divisional administration and mutton dealers was postponed, he said the meeting was cancelled in view of the arrival of some VIP’s in Kashmir.
Director FCS&CAD was referring to Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi led Baharat Jodo Yatra, which culminated with a mega rally at S.K Stadium here on Monday.
“Meeting will be held soon. We not only seal shops where mutton is sold against prescribed rates but conduct raids at butchers houses as well. I hope the stalemate will end in the coming days. So far as the price of haakh is concerned, this issue will also be resolved in a day or two,” he added.
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