Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Oct 8:
With retail prices of potato and onion prices going through the roof due to panic buying by the people in the wake of the warning about cyclonic storm ‘Hudhud’ hitting the state on October 12, the Odisha government on Wednesday directed all district collectors to crack down on potato traders resorting to hoarding.
Following a direction to this effect by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the cyclone situation here today, the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department (FS& CW)has asked the district collectors to ensure enforcement activities in their respective districts to keep the prices of essential commodities under control.
“We have asked the district collectors to deploy enforcement squads to crack down on the premises of potato traders, who have hoarded large quantities of potato to jack up the prices, and take appropriate action against them. We have also them to deploy police personnel for the purpose wherever required, said FS & CW secretary Madhusudan Padhi.
The state government’s direction to the collectors is a preemptive measure following reports that potato traders are trying to create an artificial scarcity of the vegetable in the markets. They have resorted to hoarding after panicky people thronged the markets to get the kitchen essential before Hudhud touches the land masson then Odisha coast on October 12.
Meanwhile, the price of potato, which was Rs 26 a kg only yesterday, has now touched Rs 45. Onion is being sold at Rs 30, a straight 50% hike compared to the previous day. The prices of other vegetables have also skyrocketed despite the government appeal to the people not to resort to panic buying.