Administration has ordered traders to completely stop the sale of substandard potatoes coloured up by synthetic colours and clay in the city within one week.

Berhampur Sub-Collector Bijay Kumar Das has called up the potato traders of the city for a meeting regarding allegations that traders have again started selling sub-standard potatoes in the city market despite earlier directive by the administration against it. The meeting was also attended by officials of the Civil Supplies Department.

Speaking to The Hindu , the Sub-Collector said the potato traders were warned of administrative action if they did not stop selling substandard potatoes.

“A special squad will be formed to check the sale of substandard potatoes. President of Ganjam Chamber of Commerce will be a member of the squad as representative of the traders,” the Sub-Collector said.

It may be noted that since more than a decade potato traders were supplying only substandard potatoes in the city market. Irony was that customers of the city had no scope to complain due to unavailability of good quality potatoes in Berhampur market to compare.

The traders used to sell the substandard potatoes at the price of better quality potatoes sold at other places in the State. The substandard potatoes procured at low price are mostly low quality or slightly rotten potatoes.

To hide the deformities, holes and unhealthy pigmentation of these substandard potatoes very fine clay called ‘Ela Mitti’ and most of the time even cheap synthetic colours are used. The deep holes in the potatoes are filled up with clay.

Colour and clay

According to customers, one kg of such potatoes contain around 150 grams of colour and clay. Unless the potatoes are cleaned properly, this clay and synthetic colour can prove to be harmful for consumers.

Addressing to the complains of consumer former, the administration on February 7 passed an order to potato traders to exhaust their stock of substandard potatoes by February 15 and procure only good quality potatoes after that.

After this order, substandard potatoes had vanished from Berhampur market for around two months. But since past one week or so substandard coloured potatoes have again started to be sold in the city market.


  • Sub-Collector holds meeting with traders

  • Special squad to be formed to check the sale of substandard potatoes