Ujjainites have resorted to panic buying of food stuff as they fear a short supply during a month-long Simhastha festival in the face of multifold rise in the floating population in the city and guests at home.
However, the district administration allayed fears and said that it had begun making arrangements months ago visualizing the situation beforehand. Divisional commissioner Ravindra Pastore said all the collectors of the adjoining districts had asked the farmers to grow more vegetables. The farmers were even provided with seeds to this effect months ahead of the festival. He assured that the vegetable supplies would be arranged from the adjoining districts at the administration and the wholesalers’ end. Superintendent of police MS Verma said special care would be taken to ensure safe movement of vehicles carrying food stuff and milk to the city in the nights.
However, people’s fear is not baseless as over five crore people are expected to visit the city with five lakh population during the festival time. This is going to put pressure on food availability, sources said.
Pushkaran Dubey, an old city resident who usually buys one kg of potato and onion, bought 50 kgs of each on Friday as he fears short supply during the Simhastha.
“Even if other leafy vegetables are not available, I could at least have aalu ki sabzi for my family and guests who are expected to come for the fair,” he told HT.
Not only Dubey, many citizens could be seen buying veggies with long shelf value from the market.
One Usha Chhajlani, a resident of Mahashewta Nagar, said that she had stocked a sack each of tuwar dal, rice and besan along with 15 kg tins of edible oil and other groceries. She said procuring the usual food stuff could be a problem during the Simhastha in the face of high demand. “My house is going to be flooded with relatives from different cities so preparations to serve them have to be made early,” she said.
Arun Agrawal, owner of a leading cereal shop, said the police allowed unloading only during the night during the fair. Arranging workers would then be a problem, which might also timely supply of food items.