Kolkata: The Enforcement Branch raided several markets of Kolkata — including in Hatibagan, Maniktala and Gariahat — on Friday to ascertain whether perishables and other food items were being sold at higher rates.
The state government has initiated dialogue with the railways so that railways can run some Krishak Specials to facilitate farmers to bring vegetables to the city markets in a cost-effective way to beat the price rise caused by fuel price hikes. On Thursday, market task force members made an appeal to the chief minister for easing the supply chain through the railways. The state agri-marketing department, meanwhile, has geared up to strengthen its Sufal Bangla network across 558 retail markets in Kolkata.
To bring 2 tonnes of vegetables from Krishnagar to Sealdah, one has to spend Rs 12,000. But if it is brought by train, the booking costs would not exceed Rs 1,000. “If the railways runs Krishak Specials, it will earn revenue and both farmers and consumers will be benefitted,” said Kamal De, member of the task force.
In Kolkata, EB officers reprimanded a few sellers for selling much above the government-mandated prices. EB sources said the prices saw at least a Rs 10 gap across the markets in north Kolkata and sometimes even a Rs 20 gap when compared to rates in south Kolkata markets.
The agri-marketing department has geared up to stock fruits and vegetables. CM Mamata Banerjee has asked to pay special attention to those observing Ramzan. The Sufal Bangla stalls will stock enough fruits. “We will be focusing on the vegetables prices of which are on a steady upswing,” said an officer involved with Sufal Bangla.