Complaints of shortages, Maha authorities warn action

COVID-19 lockdown: Complaints of shortages, Maharashtra authorities warn action

 People stand in a queue outside a chemist shop while maintaining social distance, during the nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Khetwadi, in Mumbai, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Owners of Fair Price Shops will face action if they were found to be indulging in black marketing amid the coronavirus outbreak, the rationing authority warned on Wednesday.

In slum areas of the city, there were complaints that customers had to return empty-handed as people flocked to shops to buy essential commodities after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced nationwide lockdown.

The Maharashtra government had assured that despite restrictions on movement of vehicles and closure of offices and businesses, Fair Price Shops and other shops selling essential commodities will remain open.

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

The Controller of Rationing and Director of Civil Supplies Kailash Pagare said that every month, 34,000 tons of food grains are distributed through Fair Price Shops in Mumbai.

"Till now in March, 24,000 tons of grains have been distributed, and the government has sufficient stocks.

"People should get their ration for March from nearby ration shops. If the shop keeper refuses, they should contact the rationing officer or directly contact the controller of rationing," Pagare said.

"If any ration shop owner is found doing black marketing, strict action will be taken," he said, adding that so he had not received such complaint.

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However, Sushma Kadlak, a ration card-holder from Kalina area, told PTI that when she went to the nearest fair price shop on Wednesday morning, she was told the stock was over.

Savio Kenny, another card-holder, recounted the same experience.

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