LAKHIMPUR: The adverse situation caused by the second wave of COVID-19 contagion has affected the people of Lakhimpur along with the State from various angles. One such issue is the sky-rocketing prices of almost all the essential commodities, which has affected the people in the district.
Of late, a section of dishonest businessmen and hoarders have hiked the prices of almost all the commodities creating artificial shortage of them in the markets. Under such circumstances, the common people have to struggle to adjust themselves with the growing prices of grocery items, vegetables and construction materials at a time when they have to combat the dreaded virus confining themselves to their homes or safe places to get rid of the contagion.
Due to the profit-earning mentality of this section of unscrupulous traders dealing in food commodities and other essential commodities, the price of masur dal has shot up to Rs. 100 to Rs. 120 per kilogram. Price of sugar has increased to Rs. 50 to Rs. 55 per kg from Rs. 40 or 45 per kilogram. The price of mustard oil of various brands has shot up to Rs. 170 to Rs. 180 per litre from Rs. 150 or Rs 155. Prices of potato and onion are also increasing day by day.
Similarly, the prices of vegetables have also increased in the district by 30 per cent- 40 per cent. Prices of construction materials are also being hiked taking the advantage of the situation.
Despite such circumstances, the district administration has still not taken up any effective steps to curb the illegal hoarders or dishonest businessmen. The district administration has neither fixed the prices of the essential commodities nor warned the dishonest businessmen against hiking the prices. In this regard, the District Civil Supply Department is in a deep slumber.
Regarding the issue, the North Lakhimpur regional unit of AASU became vocal against the district administration. The organization on Monday submitted a memorandum to Khageswar Pegu, the Deputy Commissioner of Lakhimpur, demanding the control of sky-rocketing prices of the essential commodities. In the memorandum, the organization stated that a section of wholesalers continued to exploit the common people by increasing the prices of the essential commodities, food items along with construction materials. The memorandum further said that the section of dishonest businessmen had created an untoward situation of scarcity by hoarding the essential commodities illegally for more profit in future. Under such circumstances, the organization demanded the Deputy Commissioner to take steps against them or to face stir.