Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Sep 10:
With Odisha facing acute shortage of potato leading to hefty rise in its retail price, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma today said the kitchen essential would be sold though public distribution system (PDS) and Maitree shops from tomorrow.
The minister said collectors have been asked to fix the price of potato in their districts after taking int0 consideration the stock situation.
Meanwhile, chief secretary GC Pati has written a letter to his West Bengal counterpart urging him to remove the unofficial restrictions on movement of potato into Odisha and facilitate regular supply of potato in the larger interest of consumers.
“Our state is experiencing acute shortage of potato in the market causing severe hardship to the consumers. The scarcity is arising because of unofficial restriction of government of West Bengal on movement of potato trucks to Odisha for last one month or so. The situation had improved in the second fortnight of August with steady movement carrying potato from West Bengal. But it has again worsened in last 10 days,” said Pati in his letter.
The daily potato requirement of Odisha is about 2500 MT to 3000 MT most of which is sourced from West Bengal during this time every year.
“At present, against normal requirement, we are getting only about 25% in the last 7-8 days. As a result, the price of potato in the retail market has gone sharply creating distress for consumers. The potato traders of Odisha have also expressed their helplessness as they petitioned that their people are being harassed while getting potato from West Bengal,” informed the chief secretary.