Siliguri, 11 November
Adequate potatoes were not available for the wholesale market at Siliguri Regulated Market (SRM) today. Supply of potatoes from other districts in south Bengal and north Bengal has been suspended since 1 November. Wholesale and commission agents at SRM today auctioned only 12 metric ton potatoes, which were supplied from neighbouring country, Bhutan, at the rate of Rs 26 per kg today.
The siliguri potato markets are running dry due to a lack of adequate supply of potatoes from other areas. A section of traders from Bhutan has saved Siliguri people by supplying new crop.
On the other hand, a section of wholesalers in Siliguri market, from its depots, has been supplying potatoes at high rates secretly in retail markets. Retail traders in different markets today displayed inferior potatoes (Pokhraj variety) at the rate of Rs 13 per kg.When shoppers expressed unhappiness over the quality of potatoes, retailers offered another local variety named Lal-Pahari at the rate of Rs 25 per kg. Shoppers had to buy potato at Rs 25 per kg, less than their requirement.
A senior executive member of the SRM wholesalers’ body, Mr Tapan Saha said: “Businessmen in SRM are in deep crisis owing to a lack of supply of potatoes and other vegetable items. After interference of the state government to keep control over potato price, the supply of it has been zeroed from other districts. Had the state government supplied potatoes at the subsidized rate to us we would have earned our livelihood.”
According to SRM sources, the other vegetables were not available today. The wholesalers at SRM today received 12 MT tomatoes, 8 MT cabbages, 3 MT Quash, 6 MT green chili and 7 MT cauliflowers.