THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid the Covid-19 scare and the declaration of lockdown, the public has started stockpiling essentials causing a scarcity for commodities in city markets. With all borders shut, wholesale dealers are in a fix as to bringing in essential commodities to the state. According to them, border securities of the other states aren’t allowing smooth entry of commodity-laden vehicles to leave or enter the border.
Also, many have complained that lorry drivers are unwilling to bring groceries from other states. On an average around 150 truckloads of groceries and vegetables are brought into the city markets every day.
Now the number of trucks has dwindled. Adding to it, the public has begun to buy groceries in a frenzy owing to the 21-day lockdown declared by the Centre. Many dealers in the city have increased the prices of commodities due to the growing demand.
District president of Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti Peringamala Ramachandran said that the state government has agreed to settle pending dues to the wholesale dealers after March 4. “The government owes around Rs 400 crore to wholesalers for supplying groceries to civil supplies markets for public distribution. They raised concerns and expressed disagreement in bringing full-fledged supplies from other states. Now the situation is taken care off,” he said.
According to him, the number of customers has increased. “Marketplaces are crowded. People want to stock up essentials owing to the lockdown,” he said. The Samiti has also started making interventions in the market to prevent the rise in prices of commodities. “The public can call us if they come across overpricing. We will intervene and make sure that products are sold at a reasonable price,” he added.
On Wednesday, the District Collector held a meeting with the Kanyakumari District Collect to ensure the smooth movement of commodity-laden trucks. “Currently, there won’t be a problem. We are well-prepared and will provide drivers and vehicles to bring in commodities and ensure availability,” said an official with the district administration.