In spite of a lockdown order issued by the state government, people thronged supermarkets, rythu bazaars and grocery shops in large numbers amd thousands were seen indulging in panic buying.
The sudden demand led to a spike in all vegetables, differing widely in different parts of the city.
The price of tomatoes, for instance, ranged from `60 to `100 per kilo. Potatoes, chillies and carrots sold at `100 per kilo. Sriram, a resident of Uppal, said one vendor tried to sell him chillies for `200 per kilo.
Even the prices of chicken and eggs, which has been low in the past few weeks, shot up to their old levels.
There was utter chaos in many rythu bazaars (farmers markets), where social distancing proved impossible. Narayana, a Gudimalkapur resident, said he felt he needed to go to the market despite the crowd since the lockdown could affect vegetable supplies in the future.
Many other citizens also believed vegetables would become scarce over the next few days and this was their last chance to buy them until things get better.
Some supermarkets and chain stores were able to maintain order. At many places, customers were made to line up outside and only a few people were allowed in at a time and senior citizens were given preference.
At Polimera’s in KPHB, apart from letting just 10 people inside at one time, customers were now allowed to buy more than one kilogram of a vegetable to prevent hoarding.
Many netizens took up the issue with the government on Twitter. In a press conference in the afternoon, chief secretary S.K. Joshi acknowledged these reports.
While refusing to spell out what exactly would be done, he said that the government was monitoring the vegetable prices and would take action when it deems it necessary....