Madurai

Anxious, people swarm supermarkets and empty shelves in Madurai

Till stocks last: People thronged supermarkets across Madurai on Monday to stock up on groceries, vegetables and snacks to last the curfew week.

Till stocks last: People thronged supermarkets across Madurai on Monday to stock up on groceries, vegetables and snacks to last the curfew week.  

They are in no mood to a rely on assurance from authorities that shops selling milk, vegetables and groceries will be open

Following the announcement of Chief Minister on the state-wide promulgation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure till March 31, people thronged supermarkets across the city for stocking groceries and other essential commodities.

However, there is no need to indulge in panic buying urged the officials from the district administration. They said that all essential commodities will be available and shops selling milk, vegetables, provisions, meat and fish will remain open. The Corporation officials even made public announcements to this effect on Monday evening.

But within two hours of the announcement, long, serpentine queues had formed in front of a few supermarkets in the city. Triggered by COVID-19 fear, people hurried through department stores, carrying large trolleys and baskets.

Aruna, a resident of Narayanapuram, said she saw the announcement on television and immediately rushed to the nearest supermarket. “Though it is said grocery shops will be open, there is no clarity. Also, we don’t know how we can leave home during curfew,” she said. By evening, many people also rushed to stores to buy vegetables, especially those which had longer shelf life. “Following the observance of Janata curfew on Sunday, there was two-fold increase in prices of vegetables on Monday. Despite the high prices, people rushed after them. By, evening the entire stock was over and many returned home dejected,” said S. Selvaraj, owner of a vegetable shop, said.

P. Selvin, branch manager of Shri Kannan Departmental Store at Teppakulam, said that for the past few days there had been a rush at the shop. “But, within an hour of the announcement, around 150 people rushed in. And they were engaged in panicky large-scale shopping,” he said.

R.U. Sreekuttan filled his entire trolley with huge quantities of different types of pulses. “There is a fear that the prohibitory order can be extended. So we thought that we will hurry and buy as much as we can,” he said.

A branch manager of a leading supermarket chain in K.K. Nagar said that their sales on a day would usually hover around ₹2 lakh. “But, since Monday afternoon sales of around ₹2.5 lakh has been recorded. By evening, almost the entire stock of groceries, processed food products and snacks were gone,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:42:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/people-swarm-supermarkets-empty-shelves-in-quick-time/article31148719.ece

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