BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government on Wednesday said it is fully prepared to meet any eventuality in view of a possible cyclone. Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said though a clear picture is yet to emerge, collectors of coastal districts have been put on alert and asked to take all precautionary measures. The government also urged people not to resort to panic buying in view of a possible cyclonic storm next week.
Minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Ranendra Pratap Swain said the government is ready to tackle any exigencies and closely monitor the forecast of the India Meteorological Department. The Minister asked officials to create awareness among both traders and people and check hoarding of essential commodities.
The direction came as people usually resort to panic buying causing an artificial scarcity in the markets.
Stating there is enough stock of all kinds of food items and other essentials in the market, Swain appealed to people not to buy and stock essential items unnecessarily. “The cyclonic storm is yet to be formed and its path and intensity are not clear yet. Panic buying will only benefit unscrupulous traders as some of them may take advantage of the situation and increase the prices of essential commodities,” he cautioned.
Swain assured that the government is fully prepared and the Food Supplies officials are monitoring the market. “Stringent action will be taken against the traders resorting to hoarding and black marketing,” he warned. Meanwhile, the price of tomatoes rose almost three times within a week. The vegetable is now priced Rs 60 to Rs 70 a kilo as compared to Rs 20 to Rs 25 per kg last month.
Market insiders said the price may touch Rs 100 per kg due to the supply crunch. They said tomato reaches here through a chain. There is no such arrangement to store the vegetable for a long time. The traders here are now fully dependent on the supply from the neighbouring states and Karnataka.
A wholesaler Dillip Behera said the price fluctuation in the market depends on the demand and supply. “The supply has been very less from the tomato producing states because the crops have been spoiled due to lack of rain for which there is no harvest at all,” he said.