People invarious parts of Odisha started panic buying of salt today following a rumour that it would disappear from the market, like potato, stretching the price even to Rs 60 a kg.
Hit hard by the ongoing potato pinch for the last several days, people made a beeline to grocery shops to buy as much salt as they could, thus leading to mad scenes in the state capital Bhubaneswar as well as districts like Jajpur, Nayagarh and Khurda.
In the capital city, taking advantage of the mad rush for salt, greedy shop-keepers sold the commodity at exorbitant prices touching even Rs 60 a kg in some areas, official sources said.
In Jajpur district, as the 'salt rumour' spread, People resorted to panic buying.
"After hearing from neighbours, my wife forced me to purchase salt immediately saying it would disappear from the market like potato. I went a grocery shop at Kaima bazaar under Dharmasala block in the district and bought salt at Rs 60 for a kg," said Gopal Charan Moharana.
The government, however, denied any salt crisis and said there was sufficient stock in the market.
"It is a rumour and nothing else. There is no shortage of salt in the market which has adequate stock. There is no need for panic buying," Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Secretary M S Padhi told reporters.
Jajpur Collector Anil Kumar Samal said, "I have heard people have resorted to panic buying of salt in some parts of the district and unscrupulous shopkeepers are taking advantage out of the situation."
The collector said he has directed the district civil supply officials to do the needful.