Sets up control room to receive complaints of shortage of salt

Scotching rumours on inadequate salt in the State, the West Bengal government on Saturday assured people that there was no shortage of salt and supplies were sufficient to meet a year’s requirement.

After meeting his department officials, Food and Supplies Minister Jyoti Priyo Mallick said there was no cause for panic.

He blamed the Congress, the CPI(M), and the BJP for the perceived shortage. “It is a totally fake affair,” he stressed.

Fresh supplies

Mr. Mallick said he held meetings with salt merchants and he was assured that fresh supplies were arriving.

Fears of scarcity of the essential item seemed to have gripped people in the State’s upper reaches more, with people in North and South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri queuing up to buy the commodity even at exorbitant prices, fearing stoppage of supplies from a neighbouring State.

Control room opened

The State government has set up a control room to receive complaints of salt shortage in the city markets. The Home Department has asked the Intelligence Bureau to submit a report on the rumour-mongering and the perceived shortage.

Raids are being carried out in areas where the rumours were strongest, a government official said. Some people have been detained.

Mr. Mallick said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had expressed concern and asked him to tackle it.