MUMBAI: As Maharashtra is in lockdown for tackling the coronavirus epidemic, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal assured on Tuesday that the state has enough foodgrain stock to last for six months.
Despite restrictions on movement of vehicles, the supply of essential commodities will be unaffected, he said, asking people not to do panic-buying. "We have enough stocks to last for six months," he told reporters.
"Shops and outlets selling food grains, vegetables, meat, fish and medical shops have been excluded from the lockdown," the minister said, appealing people to cooperate with the government. "Mathadi workers (head loaders who work in wholesale vegetable and grain markets) and farmers are also humans and their safety is also important. Don't crowd the markets. Cooperate with the police," he said.
People should not panic, Bhujbal said, stressing that maintaining hygiene and social distancing was important. The minister also warned against hoarding and black- marketing. "If essential commodities including masks and sanitizers are black-marketed or hoarded, it would be punished with seven years' imprisonment," he said.