THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the lockdown in force, a few shops in the district exploit customers by hiking the prices of many essential commodities exorbitantly despite the inspections carried out by the civil supplies department and local bodies, especially in the rural areas. Now, the civic supplies department has decided to deploy an additional inspection team to keep such practices in check, especially in the rural areas of the district.
“In the city, we have the situation mostly under control. We have had a discussion with the supermarket chains about bringing the prices closer to that of Supplyco. They may not be able to sell the items at the government rates but bringing the prices down closer to these rates would help. We have sent a proposal to the retail chains about this. With more stock coming in, most of the shops have went back to selling at the normal rates.
The illegal practice is rampant in the rural parts of the district,” said a civil supplies official.The civil supplies teams get a large number of calls from around the district. However, reaching all locations proves to be difficult due to limitations of team strength and distance.
Moreover, there have also been attempts to manhandle officials who inspect the shops. “It is also noteworthy that many meat shops are also exploiting the situation. We have noticed a decrease in consumption or maybe careful use of resources,” said the official. Meanwhile, all shops and marketplaces are being closely monitored to ensure that they are not overcrowded anytime.