Sugar may leave a bitter taste this Deepavali

R. Jagadeeswara Rao

Monthly quota yet to be received from Karnataka, Tanuku

Supply from Karnataka hit by recent floods

Officials confident of getting supply from Tanuku before the festival

VISAKHAPATNAM: Deepavali or the festival of lights, this year, is likely to leave some bitter memories for the public thanks to non-supply of sugar through the public distribution system as also its price in the open market. Time was when additional sugar quota used to be released a week before important festivals like Deepavali, Pongal and Dasara. But this Deepavali there had been no normal quota so far, let alone additional quota. Normally essential commodities to be distributed thorough the public distribution system would be released in the first week of every month. The quantity of sugar supplied on all ration cards is a mere one kg in the city and half a kg in the rural areas. There are nearly 13 lakh ration cards in the district on which sugar would be supplied. But to date no quota had been released.

Prohibitive price

Sources disclosed that there was time when nearly 960 MTs of sugar was supplied to the district. But this was reduced to less than 500 MTs (some 340 MTs from Karnataka and 150 from Tanuku in West Godavari district). Price is also another factor bothering the public. While the price of sugar at the fair price shops is Rs.13.50 a kg, it is as much as Rs.35 in the open market.

Officials concerned with the sugar distribution informed that orders were received from higher-ups to lift 340 MTs of sugar from Karnataka and 150 MTs from Tanuku for this month’s quota. But there were difficulties in getting sugar quota from Karnataka because of disruption of transport network due to floods.

Officials however assure that the quota from Tanuku would arrive soon and there would be no difficulty in supplying quota sugar to ration card holders in the city before Deepavali.