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Alipurduar Modified Ration dealers fear attack by wild animals, shut shops early

It may be mentioned here that the government has recently ordered MR dealers all over the state to open their ration shops two times a day—four hours in the morning and six hours in the evening.

The Statesman Desk | Alipurduar |

Modified Ration dealers who own shops near forest areas in Alipurduar are unwilling to keep their shops open after dark as they fear attack from wild animals, which they say has increased during the lockdown.

It may be mentioned here that the government has recently ordered MR dealers all over the state to open their ration shops two times a day—four hours in the morning and six hours in the evening.

As per the government’s orders, Alipurduar District Magistrate Surendra Kumar Meena has also instructed MR dealers in the district to open their shops from 8 am to 12 am in the morning and from 2 pm to 8 pm in the evening, it is learnt.

“However, ration dealers who are located near forest areas are unwilling to open their shops till 8 pm out of fear of wild animals,” sources said. It is learnt that the Alipurduar district MR Dealers’ Association took up the matter with the district administrative officials in a meeting in the district administrative building, Dooarskanya, here today.

“Frequent incidents of man-animal conflict have been reported near the forest areas during the lockdown period. That is why ration dealers near forest areas fear to keep their ration shops open after dark. They are ready to keep their shops open throughout the day without any break at noon. We also want everybody should get food stuff during this period of crisis,” said the secretary of the Alipurduar District MR Dealers’ Association, Shambhu Sengupta.

There are around 450 MR shops that function under the state government’s Public Distribution System in Alipurduar district. Around 250 of them are located in areas near forests, it is learnt.

“The objective is to provide food grains to all ration card holders by maintaining social distance and adhering to other complete safety restrictions. We must ensure this and do the needful, keeping all practical problems in mind. Ration dealers may open the shop throughout the day without any break,” said the DM, Mr Meena.