Cyclone Fani Triggers Panic Buying In Bazaar, Petrol Pumps

Bhubaneswar: Shops, vegetable markets and petrol pumps in the capital city are seeing an unprecedented surge as people are stocking up on essentials before cyclone Fani hits the Odisha coast.

Panic-stricken buyers made a beeline at grocery and neighbourhood stores as reports suggested the severe cyclonic storm was expected to make landfall on Friday morning.

A couple of petrol pumps between Kalinga hospital and Patia squares ran out of stock within hours of opening for the day. “There was an unprecedented rush. And people came to fill up their tanks. This led to stocks running out in no time,” said an employee of HP petrol pump at the Patia square.

The picture was no different in bazaars and morning haats as retailers made a kill. A kilo of potato was selling at Rs 35-40 and onion at Rs 45-50. Other vegetables were being traded Rs 10-15 higher than normal price.  A vegetable vendor claimed a kilo of potato at the wholesale market in Cuttack was selling at Rs 30. 

“We have had panic buyers earlier as well. But we are overwhelmed by the rush this time around,” said Panchanan Jena, a retailer of a major store in Sahid Nagar. “We have hurriedly procured essentials like rice, dal and dairy products, flattened rice, sugar, biscuits, matchboxes and candles. But the stock might run out soon,” he feared.

But residents remained apprehensive about hoarding and demanded that the government keep a close watch.

“I had purchased my stocks in Wednesday itself, as I had had a bitter experience earlier. You cannot dismiss the role of hoarders,” said Ranjib Biswal, a retired government servant.

Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi has asked the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department to take proactive measures to check hoarding of food and essential commodities.

Major restaurants have already downed shutters, as workers have left for their villages to look after the elderly at home.

“Our restaurant will remain closed till the situation improves,” said Dipak Jaiswal, owner of an eatery in Unit IX area.

A quick glance at food delivery apps showed that a good number of restaurants had stopped taking orders.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.