STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Balurghat, 15 November
Potato crisis still persists at different local markets in Balurghat and its outskirts of South Dinajpur district due to the scarcity of the item despite several steps taken by the district administration.
It is learnt that the price of potatoes in the retail markets is still high because of the hiked rate at which the wholesalers are selling these off.
To sell potatoes at Rs 13 a kg, the district administration assisted by the
district food and supplies department opened counters in the premises of the
district administration
building.
Potatoes are being sold at the government-prescribed price from there.
It is learnt that the
supply of the tubers from
Burdwan having stopped has precipitated the crisis in South Dinajpur district. 
Things further have
compounded with some unscrupulous traders
taking advantage of the scarcity to corner profits at the expense of the common
people.
The price line is ranging between Rs 20 and Rs 22
a kg.
The district administration informed that potatoes would be available at Rs 13 a kg from the ration shops.
IThe district administration has also informed that each family of the
card-holders would get one kg each.
The administration also claimed that it has procured potatoes from four cold
storages across the district.
“The district has
sufficient stock amounting to around 42,000 quintals,
covering four cold storages. Around 38,000 quintals would be sold through the public distribution system for two months and the rest of the 4,000 quintals would be left as seeds,” said an 
administrative official in Balurghat.
The South Dinajpur SP, Mr Prasun Banerjee, has asked the concerned police officials to keep close
vigilance on the situation so that traders sell potatoes at the government&’s prescribed rate, it is learnt.