Acute shortage of ration has been reported from various parts of Doda, Bhaderwah, Thathri, Gondho, Bhalessa and Kishtwar, with a deputation in Doda alleging that the department of consumer affairs and public distribution (CAPD) has still not distributed ration for December.
Doda residents alleged that they had been demanding the ration for December, but their efforts bore no fruit as government ration stores remained closed due to non-availability of rice, wheat flour and sugar.
In Bhaderwah, Thathri, Gondho, Bhalessa and Kishtwar, the situation is reportedly similar, with some villages allegedly not getting ration for December as the government depots do not have food items.
Many other snow-bound areas, including Dachan, Marwah, Wardwon, Paddar, Kaljugasar, Dessa Valley, Sarthal, Saroor, Chingam and Kailash Kund, where six to eight feet snow has accumulated, are the worst-hit. Residents of these areas have alleged that the department's claims that every area in Chenab valley had been supplied with ration were false.
The residents have also alleged that the CAPD employees were "deliberately" delaying supplying ration to these areas, and now the accumulated snow had blocked all the link roads, preventing movement of supplies.
Barath village resident Ajaz Ahmed Wani said, "We have been visiting the government ration depots for the last two weeks, but returning empty-handed. The department should have stocked up on the ration items in September, before winter started. This is complete negligence."
Muthi Marmat resident Mujeeb ur Rehman said, "With Marmat being located in a remote area, it should have received supplies much before the onset of winter. Due to the lack of arrangements by the CAPD, people have to face many hardships."
"If the department concerned fails to send supplies to the affected areas, starvation is possible. The department should make necessary arrangements at the earliest, else people will take to the streets in protest," a local added.