The limited availability of meat and fish has resulted in soaring prices of chicken in the city. In the recent few days of the lockdown, the price of chicken has leapt up to great heights in various parts of the city, burning a hole in the pockets of the citizens of Kolkata.

The pandemic of coronavirus proved to be a mixture of joy and sorrow for the chicken sellers in the city. Starting from February and continuing till the third week of March, the price of chicken was beaten down to a record low following rumours on social media about the spread of coronavirus through birds.

The local shops in areas of Park Circus, Kidderpore, Behala, Tollygunge, Central Avenue to name few, sold the chicken at rupees 40 to 50, the prices fell as low as Rs 10 to 20 in the rural areas. In the neighbourhood area of Sodepur, shops offered onion with every kilogram of chicken.

The chicken price, after the implementation of the nationwide lockdown, however, has skyrocketed in the last few weeks. With soaring prices of mutton and unavailability of fish, restrictions on movements in the containment zones of the city, has left no options before the people.

Amid the prevalent situation, chicken, easily available in the nearby local shops, has emerged as the choicest source of protein for a large number of citizens of Kolkata. The huge demand, as informed by the sellers, has taken the chicken prices to above rupees 230 in the city.

At some places, the rates have also touched the mark of rupees 250. According to the general secretary of West Bengal Poultry Federation, Madan Mohan Maity, the standard price of chicken including cost for the city is rupees 200 and for the rural areas is rupees 190.

“Despite all odds, the prices should not exceed the standard rate,” said Mr Maity. “We have urged the chicken sellers to stick to the rate. In normal times, our teams conduct raids to enquire if anyone is charging higher rates. However, due to the lockdown, this cannot be done at the moment,” he added.