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Prices are rising: it’s official

The state government admitted on Sunday, the seventh day of the truckers’ strike, that the prices of eggs, fish and other commodities have soared in the markets. “Though there is no crisis yet, the prices of certain items have shot up,” state home secretary Amit Kiran Deb conceded.

The state government has taken up the matter with the Centre, with a request to ensure “easy availability of commodities”. Union surface transport minister P. C. Khanduri called state transport minister Subhas Chakraborty on Sunday and urged him to convince transporters to call of the strike.“We have had several meetings with state transporters, but to no avail. I request you to take urgent steps to end the impasse so that the common man does not suffer,” Chakraborty told Khanduri.

State chief secretary S.N.Roy has convened a meeting of all district magistrates and police superintendents at Writers’ Buildings on Tuesday to chart a course of action against hoarding and profiteering. Home secretary Deb made it clear that those selling essentials at hiked prices would be dealt with firmly.

Kashinath Behra, special secretary, transport department, who is heading the makeshift control room at Writers’, however, claimed trucks were moving in Siliguri and Darjeeling on Sunday. “But the situation deteriorated in the city, as hundreds of trucks remained stranded at various entry points,” he added.

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