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Govt resumes potato sale

The state government resumed selling potatoes at Rs 13 a kg in the city on Thursday following a rise in the tuber price over the past week.

“On Thursday we sent 80,000kg of the Jyoti variety of potatoes to around 200 markets in the city and on the fringes. These potatoes are being sold at Rs 13 a kg,” said an official of the task force constituted by the chief minister to monitor the prices of essential edibles in city markets.

Sources in the task force said Mamata Banerjee was displeased when she heard that her officials had discontinued the sale of potatoes through government departments without informing her. The sale was stopped on November 23.

At a meeting of the task force on Tuesday, the chief minister is said to have asked who had stopped the sale of potatoes and why were the prices soaring again. “She was very angry when she came to know that potato prices were rising again despite the state having adequate stock,” said the source.

Following the rap, the task force members met again and decided to resume selling potatoes through the agriculture marketing and horticulture departments.

“We have decided to sell potatoes till the prices come down again. Anybody caught selling the Jyoti variety at a price higher than Rs 13 a kg will be penalised,” said an official. Over the past week, the Jyoti variety was being sold at Rs 16 a kg and Chandramukhi between Rs 20 and Rs 22 a kg.

An unusual spike in potato prices in October-November had forced the government to intervene and sell potatoes at Rs 13 a kg in November. But once the government discontinued selling potatoes after the prices stabilised and panic among buyers subsided with the arrival of fresh produce, prices started to soar again.

Fatal jump

A second-year college student died on his way to a job interview after he jumped off a CTC bus and came under its wheels on Thursday. Subhajit Adak, 19, of Bishnupur, had boarded the bus at Amtala to reach Silpara in Behala. He jumped out after missing the stop where he was to get off. “He lost balance and fell and was run over,” said an officer of Thakurpukur police station. The driver has been arrested.