No shortage of salt in state: Govt

Bhubaneswar: Despite the state government’s assurance about the ample availability of salt in the state, rumours flew thick and fast on Monday prompting the consumers, already bitten by the pricey potato, for panic buying of the quintessential mineral product. 
At many places, people were seen standing for hours in serpentine queues to collect salt from their nearby ration shops, after being victims of roumour-mongering that the commodity was being sold at Rs 30-35 per kg, a rise of almost Rs 20.
According to reports, police were called at few places in the state capital to control the crowd, jostling and elbowing to get a packet of the commodity.
However, the state government has requested the consumers to deter from panic buying of the product.
“There is nothing to be worried about the availability of salt and we have enough stock. We urge the consumers not to resort to panic buying,” Madhusudan Padhi, secretary, food and civil supplies department, said.
Meanwhile, the potato crisis on Monday begun to ease in the state capital and Cuttack, after the arrival of 17 truckloads of potatoes. The state government too hopes that the situation will be normal in next couple of days.  
“We are informed that dealers have received 17 truckloads of potatoes from West Bengal today. Of these, 17 loads will be distributed in Bhubaneswar and the rest in Cuttack. I think by tomorrow normal flow will begin,” Padhi stated.
The official also informed that to address the non-availability of the tuber, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) has been requested to arrange at least forty truckloads of potatoes for six towns on a daily basis for next seven days.
“Nafed has been asked to procure potatoes from Kanpur, Ranchi or where ever the stock is available,” the official said. 
He stated that the Aiginia Merchant Association in Bhubaneswar was in talks with its counterparts in Kanpur to procure one rack load of potatoes (250 truckloads) to ease the situation.