Supplies affected as truck movement faces hurdles

A truck loaded with essential goods enters Kozhikode on the second day of the nationwide lockdown on Thursday .

A truck loaded with essential goods enters Kozhikode on the second day of the nationwide lockdown on Thursday .   | Photo Credit: -

Curbs on inter-State borders lead to decline in stocks

Grocery stores and vegetable outlets here have started feeling the heat of decline in stocks owing to curbs on inter-State borders as part of the country-wide lockdown.

Traders on Thursday said there had been considerable dip in the availability of sugar and pulses. Several retail outlets are restricting the sale of sugar to one or two kilograms due to absence of adequate stock at wholesale markets.

“The curbs in Maharashtra had led to shortage in supply of sugar. With wholesale markets at Mettupalayam and Oddanchatram remaining shut, the supply of vegetables has been hit. A few wholesalers at the Ernakulam market could not clear stock thanks to poor demand for vegetables from hotels and catering groups,” said G. Karthikeyan, president, Kerala Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce.

“The arrival of vegetable loads at the Ernakulam market was less on Thursday compared to the previous two days. It will be reflected in other markets in the outskirts. Supplies to stores in the outskirts were affected as the police had restricted the entry of pick-up vans and autorickshwaws from those areas to the Ernakulam market,” he added.

Lorry owners said drivers were reluctant to undertake trips as they were facing difficulties at inter-State borders. “They remain held up at the borders for hours, and it has delayed the movement of lorries and trucks. The closure of hotels owing to the lockdown has also come as a blow to drivers,” they added.

Asked why people were not complaining about shortage of supply, traders said most of them had stocked various essential items and even vegetables for at least a week just before the lockdown was announced. “Many have overstocked rice, cereals, and oil anticipating a long shutdown. This is the reason why there was no panic buying on Wednesday and Thursday,” they said.

Meanwhile, the merchant community has requested the authorities to ease hurdles facing lorry drivers. Otherwise, the situation may turn worse in the next two days. The government can also explore movement of essential items by wagons, they added.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:32:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/supplies-affected-as-truck-movement-faces-hurdles/article31177262.ece

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