The hoarders and black-marketers are having a great time, as Cyclone Phailin is approaching the Odisha Coast. An artificial crisis has already been created with essential commodities and food items missing from the market even as storm will hit the state after 36-48 hours. There is a huge demand of candles, fearing power crisis. However, these are hardly available.
The capital city Bhubaneswar has seen an unprecedented panic situation ahead of the Dussehra, as long queues were seen at the petrol pumps, threatening a fuel crisis. People are seen thronging to shops and markets to purchase whatever they can to sustain themselves during the impending crisis.
There is huge demand for candles, atta (wheat-flour), bread, rice and potatoes. At some places, candles are being sold at three or four times higher rate. Potatoes are sold at Rs 30-35 per kg. Many shopkeepers and retailers have hidden their available stocks, by making the life of common people hell.
Despite a lot of hollow claims, the government has not been able to fight the menace of hoarding and adulteration. While preparing for the rescue and relief operation when the storm hits, the authorities should launch a massive crackdown so that some unscrupulous elements are checked and put behind the bars.
Here’s the Storm Tracker: http://www.cyclocane.com/phailin-storm-tracker/