After playing hide and seek game with the people of Odisha for three to four days, the potatoes have finally done a vanishing act, as they are not available in the market now. Even it’s not available in the Unit I market. The crisis in West Bengal, has badly affected the people in Odisha.
Before being vanished from the market, potatoes were available at Rs 30-40 in the market. The government managed to sell potatoes at Rs 22 at fair price shops, Maitree and Udyan Fresh outlets for a couple of days, but the quantity was very minimum.
The potato crisis coincided with the sacred month of Kartika in which people do not consume non-veg items and mostly depend on vegetables and potatoes. Since the vegetable prices have soared to a record high, thanks to Cyclone Phailin and incessant rains, their only hope was potato. But, the rising onions and soaring potatoes have made things extremely difficult for common people.
Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra has already spoken to his West Bengal counterpart, seeking the lifting of ban on potato export. The supply of potatoes from West Bengal, has resumed from Friday evening. The crisis could be over by Saturday afternoon, it is believed. The government has also ordered potatoes from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which will take at least three days to reach Odisha.
However, in a shocking development, Odisha Health Minister Dr. Damodar Rout created a flutter, by saying that people won’t die if they don’t eat potatoes. He has drawn flak for his “insensitive” comments.