Itahari hoarders unfazed by raids

ITAHARI: Raids on warehouses in the capital have had no effect in Itahari — a major business hub in the eastern region. Locals say black marketeering is rife in the area.

A survey conducted by this scribe in Itahari of Sunsari, showed there is no uniformity in the price of commodities. The unfair trading practices have still not spurred the administration, consumers rights activists and stakeholders into action. The prices of pulses, rice, sugar, beaten rice and peas vary from one shop to another.

Khukuri Oil costs Rs 130 per litre at Sapana Stores while it costs Rs 132 at Shah Stores. At Rabi Stores, it costs Rs 116. Price of beaten rice ranges from Rs 28 to 35 in different shops. Basmati rice costs between Rs 60 to 90. Wholesale price of onion ranges from Rs 25 to 40.

Shopkeepers hike food prices arbitrarily. Hoteliers have hiked the price of their items at will. Consumers reported that the trend is practised more in villages than the main market. In the main market, sugar is scarce but readily available to those willing to pay more.

Consumer rights activist Narayan Bahadur Shrestha agreed that unfair trading practices were on the rise in Itahari and adjoining areas. He accused some shops of cheating while weighing goods.

Shrestha said. “I talked in person to the CDO, but in vain. When even the CDO does not care about it, who will stop these malpractices?”

Sunsari CDO Harikrishna Prasad Upadhyay said the problem had occurred due to the negligence of Cottage and Small Scale Industries office. “We are unable to control it since we are understaffed,” he maintained adding that they would soon react to the situation. It is the DAO’s duty to curb price rise.