Prices skyrocket in Odisha due to truckers’ strike

Bhubaneswar, Oct 5 (IANS) Prices of essential commodities, including vegetables, have skyrocketed in Odisha in the wake of the truckers’ protest which continued for the fifth day on Monday.

While many vegetables have vanished from the shop shelves, prices of food grains and pulses have recorded almost 30 percent increase in the last two days.

Unscrupulous hoarders have been having a field day following the strike.

“If the strike continues, prices of food grains and other essential commodities would further increase in the state as it depends on other states for most of the products,” said Sudhakar Panda, secretary of the Odisha traders’ association.

Trucks have been on a nationwide strike since October 1 protesting against the toll system on national highways. As Odisha depends on its neighbours for potato and onion, prices of the two items have also doubled in the state.

The price of potato, which was Rs.10 on October 1, has touched Rs.20, while that of onion, which was Rs.40, has crossed Rs.60 in the retail market, said Panda.

An official of the civil supplies and consumer welfare department said they have been maintaining strict vigil on hoarders and would take action against traders found guilty of hoarding and selling potato and onion at high price under the Essential Commodities Act.

Meanwhile, trucks which were bringing goods from other states were stranded at many places across Odisha.

Hundreds of trucks are stranded in Balasore since Thursday while the perishable items loaded on the trucks have started stinking.

Odisha Truck Owners Federation general secretary Rabi Narayan Satapathy said the strike would continue till the central government accepts the demands.

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