It appears that the officials in the district finally woke up from their slumber and started looking into the rampant unfair trade practices in the district.

A team of officials have conducted raids and imposed a fine on four shopkeepers, who are found selling soft drinks and packaged drinking water more than the maximum retail price (MRP). The team conducted surprise checks in the shops in bus stand, market and a few other parts in the town and found four shopkeepers violating the rules.

Legal action would be initiated against these shopkeepers, officials said. The checks were conducted following instructions from Collector C. Kamaraj. Throwing all norms to the wind, shopkeepers in most parts of the district collect Rs. 3 to Rs. 4 more than the MRP for a bottle of soft drink or water. The practice is rampant in places of public gatherings such as bus stand, cinemas and markets. Some of the restaurants in the town go a step ahead by charging Rs. 5 or more extra for serving the soft drink and water chilled. When customers demand an explanation, shopkeepers say the extra money is for “cooling and electricity”. Officials cautioned that selling goods more than the MRP is an offence.