Jamshedpur, March 24: Despite warning against hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities amid rumours regarding the imminent shutdown of ration and food/vegetable shops following the coronavirus scare, the city traders are selling products at much higher rates.
Moreover, notwithstanding administration assurance of supply of essential goods including vegetables, food grains and grocery stores, people resorted to panic buying in several areas of the city.
“We are forced to buy products at much higher rates. There is a panic in society that stocks would run out as transport of essential goods including vegetables and food grains would be affected due to lockdown in most of the neighbouring states including Odisha, Bihar and Bengal. We are forced to buy commodities at higher rates. I think the administration must act against such traders,” said a resident of Jugsalai.
Shopkeepers shared their own problems. “We have choice but to sell at high price. We rely on distributors and they have said that stock of essential commodities is very less. They have already increased prices of essential commodities. We already have scarce supply of Amul milk and dairy products and only rely on Sudha and Medha Dairy products. Administration should ensure that food items are available in proper number,’ said Naresh Kumar, a shopkeeper in Sakchi.
Reports of similar panic buying in different parts of the city, prompted East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Ravi Shankar Shukla to issue an order directing leading retail chain outlets of Reliance Fresh and Big Bazaar to stay open.
“ We reiterate that people should not resort to panic. We would like to inform the masses not to indulge in panic buying as all the grocery stores, vegetable shops and those selling essential commodities like milk would remain open during the lockdown period in addition to fuel pumps, medicine shops, banks and ATMs,” said an official.
DC directed officials to take strict action against those spreading these rumours apart from unscrupulous elements looking to profit by hoarding or black marketing of essential and food supplies.
The district administration has also appealed the people not to lend ears to rumours, since there was no shortage of food items, vegetables and fruits in the state.
The government is constantly monitoring the supplies of medicines, disinfectants and other essential used to control the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, the administration has also warned the traders against black marketing.
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