Covid-19 crisis pushes prices of essentials up in Pune

Updated on Mar 29, 2020 05:01 PM IST

On Saturday, in Kondhwa, Undri and Mohammadwadi, chicken was sold at Rs 180-220 per kg

Prices of vegetables, grocery, meat, and LPG have escalated since the country-wide lockdown was announced(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)
Prices of vegetables, grocery, meat, and LPG have escalated since the country-wide lockdown was announced(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)
Hindustan Times, Pune | ByNadeem Inamdar, Pune

The Covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis is driving up the prices of essential commodities — adding to the pressure of household budgets. Prices of vegetables, grocery, meat, and LPG have escalated since the country-wide lockdown was announced. In the absence of flying squads in the areas, shopkeepers are flouting norms and charging extra, alleged residents.

On Saturday, in Kondhwa, Undri and Mohammadwadi, chicken was sold at Rs 180-220 per kg. The poultry farmers complained that the traders are paying less and the demand for poultry has gone down due to rumours linking birds with spread of Covid-19.

Shahidul Qazi, a resident of Undri said, “I had to purchase chicken at Rs 220 per kg, which is almost double of the nominal rate. Residents are being cheated openly and government should take action.”

Vegetable prices also witnessed a spike in most suburbs due to lack of checking mechanism by the administration. Amit Kumar Singh, a resident of Amanora Park said “ Money is being made out of people’s misery and administration is not taking strong steps to curb the menace. We had to buy onions at Rs 80 per kg today [Saturday].”

Sangeeta Kulkarni, a resident of Sacred Heart Town in Wanowrie, said grocery items were sold at high prices in the area and demanded that the food and drug administration department must take action on violations.

Divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said, “The citizens must lodge complaints on the numbers given to them by the administration. They can approach the police and strict action will be taken against the violators.”

A few days ago, owners of 140 flats of Miami Society, Sinhgad road were left agitated as the piped gas supply was stopped by the distributor on grounds of seeking advance payment for supply. The residents alleged that they had already deposited Rs 2,000 as advance.

Sujit Kolhe, a resident of Miami Society said, “The service provider demanded an advance before restoring the LPG connection and restored it only after he took cash. The service provider should not do this as it amounts to panic situation among citizens. The residents will soon lodge a complaint with the district collector seeking strict directions on the service provider on the issue.”

Ashwin Zavre of Shree Swami Samarth Gas Agency, who is the service provider said, “We are helping citizens during times of crisis. The company which is providing LPG cylinders to us has clearly said that cylinders cannot be released unless payments are made. So, we had no option but to take the advance from them. We have provided LPG to everybody so that nobody is inconvenienced.”

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