Srinagar: After the deluge, chicken and onions in the Kashmir Valley cost the same, as plenty of live stock lay stuck after cancellation of hundreds of marriages due to the flooding while prices of vegetables have skyrocketed.
Chicken was selling at Rs 50 per kg in Soura locality of the city, which is unaffected by floods but is housing thousands of people who have fled the flood affected areas of the city.
Marriage functions had to be cancelled in most parts of the Valley due to floods in at least six districts of Jammu and Kashmir including Srinagar, the summer capital of the state.
With September and October being the peak marriage season in Kashmir, the cancellations meant that mutton and poultry dealers had a plenty of stock to protect from floods, which would entail additional expenses on their feed.
"We are selling it below the cost price due to absence of feed.
"While we will recover some money, it will also help the people to overcome food shortage," Abdul Rehman, a poultry dealer, said.
There was a huge rush around Rehman's truck as people wanted to grab a chicken.
"The vegetable prices have shot through the roof. Chicken right now is a cheap option to feed my family," Mohammad Shafi, a resident of Hawal, said.
Shafi said he had several relatives from flood-hit areas staying with him and he had to look for ways and means to feed them till they are able to go back to their homes.
"It is intrinsic to Kashmiri culture to take care of guests.
"If your relatives are in distress, the desire to make their stay all the more comfortable grows exponentially," he added. MORE PTI MIJ SHS
While the rate of mutton is Rs 360 per kg in normal days, a mutton dealer on Nallah Mar Road in the city was selling it at Rs 300.
"I purchased a flock of sheep meant for two weddings, which got cancelled due to floods.
"I cannot keep the flock for too long as I do not have the means to feed them," Ali Mohammad, the mutton dealer, said.
A poultry dealer, who did not want to be named, donated a truck-load of live birds to a relief camp in the city.
"It is better to help the needy at this time than to think of monetary gains. These birds would have perished if water level in River Jhelum had risen by two more feet," he added.
In contrast, the prices of vegetables have seen a steep rise of 50 to 100 per cent since the floods hit the Valley.
Onions were selling at Rs 50 per kg compared to Rs 25 per kg before the floods while potato prices went from Rs 20 to Rs 30 per kg.
Lettuce, the local green leaves, witnessed the highest rise of nearly 250 per cent as the prices shot up from Rs 20 per kg to Rs 70 per kg in some places.