Thursday, August 30, 2007

DC (East) Meets with Officials for Combating rising prices

GANGTOK: The incessant rain in the past few weeks has come with a double whammy.
Not only has the National Highway 31A been bearing the brunt of nature’s fury-with numerous landslides that resulted in blocking the lifeline to Sikkim-but the long route used to transport vegetables from Siliguri has also led to a sudden rise in prices of essential commodities in the State.
The prices of vegetables and perishable commodities have sky-rocketed lately, much to the inconvenience of the people of the Capital. And fresh vegetables have become a scarce commodity.
The vegetable vendors say this seasonal rise of prices is because of inadequate supply of fruits and vegetables triggered by frequent landslides along the NH 31A.
In the last few days, vegetables have become precious commodities. Not only fresh supplies are erratic, the prices leave a big hole in the customers’ pockets. The price of a commonly preferred vegetable-potatoes- has double, with local varieties coming for as much as Rs 18 per kg. Tomatoes and onions are available for Rs 35 and Rs 16 per kg respectively.
As supply is restricted and demand remains constant, prices start to go up. This hike also works for the middleman who also wants to recoup some of the losses he has suffered. Profiteers also gain the most from this state of affairs but the common man suffers the brunt. This has happened in recent weeks with the advent of rain and landslide on NH-31A as prices of a number of kitchen items have seen a rise as vegetable and fruit stocks have also been affected.

The District Collector East Shri Vishal Chauhan held ameeting with officials from UD&HD, Food Supplies ,Sikkim Police and representatives from Sikkim Vegetable Sellers to discuss the measures to control prices of vegetables in Gangtok .It was decided in meeting that henceforth in view of absence of any mechanism in determining pricing of vegetables, Denzong Agriculture CoOperative Society be authorised to fix prices and also necessary measures be taken to stop black marketing of vegetables.