EVEN AS the Panchkula administration claims to be delivering essential commodities to people’s homes, the ground situation is different scenario. Residents are not getting rations and grocery shops are out of supplies with empty shelves, claim residents.
Several grocery shops had empty shelves and short on supplies required for daily consumption. While the supply of milk and bread seems to have been restored, it was items necessary for cooking, including wheat flour, pulses and rice, that were not available at the stores.
“The supply is nil with the demand at an all-time high. People are scared that everything will get over and have started hoarding rations. Our stocks of 100 kgs of pulses have flown off the shelves within the last three days. A maximum of 5 kg is only left. People have been buying in bulk. While earlier they used to take 1 kg, they now took 10,” said Purshottam Aggarwal, owner of a small grocery shop at Haripur village.
Another grocery shop owner, Sudesh Gupta, has been facing a severe problem in procuring grains and flour from the market. She said, “Earlier we used to buy all our grains and grocery from Sector 26 in Chandigarh but since the curfew, nobody is being let in or out. We have made arrangements with a firm in Panchkula’s Sector 20 which is the only agency supplying right now. We just got a few kilos of wheat from there. We had run out of everything. We still do not have any pulses or rice.”
No packaged items available
It is not just the grains that have been emptied out by the residents of the city but also the pre-packaged food items. Maggi, chocolates, Lays, cold drinks, pasta & easy-cook meals, including soups, have been sold out.
“The current generation is much used to fast food and will go into withdrawal if they don’t get it. They have been buying Lays and other products in huge quantities. People bring their cars and fill the vehicles to the brink,” said the owner of a department store in Sector 7.
Meanwhile, the owners of these groceries have claimed that no supply from these big brands is coming into the city yet. “Products of Nestle and other such brands have stopped supply,” said Ajit Bansal, owner of a store in Sector 4.
Vegetable prices still soar
The prices of fruits and vegetables continued to soar on the third day of the lockdown in the district. Several residents of the city claimed that amid confusion over approved list by the district administration, nothing was made available to them.
“The administration has failed to make anything available to us. Grocery shops have run out of basic raw material required to cook. The vegetables earlier priced at Rs 20 per kg are available at Rs 40 per kg by the administration. The vendors are further selling it at more than double that cost with the prices touching Rs 100 for anything easily,” said RWA of Sector 25, Panchkula.
In another list prepared by the district administration, Deputy Commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja had claimed on Thursday that about 160 street vendors and vegetable vendors would provide essential items at standard prices. It was further claimed that any person can call over the telephone and also get the items sitting at home.
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