Gurugram: Gurugram has sufficient food stock for two months provided residents do not engage in panic buying or hoarding of essentials, the Gurugram Wholesalers Association said on Monday after a tally of the district’s existing stock of staples in the face of a lockdown enforced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
As of Monday, March 23, close to 150 registered and unregistered wholesalers in the district ,who in turn supply stocks to close to 12,000 retailers, or kirana stores, have 4,370 tonnes of general food items in store, including rice, pulses, salt, sugar and other items of consumption, the association said. That’s enough to meet demand in the district until May 23.
Officials in the district administration said supply of essential food items will not be hampered. “Our stocks are adequate. We shall see to it that the flow of essential commodities is not disrupted,” Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, Gurugram, said on Monday. Khatri, along with other officials, held a meeting with representatives of the wholesalers association to ascertain how much stock is already within the district’s boundaries.
Vedpal Raghav, president of the Gurugram Wholesalers Association, said: “We have taken stock of our inventory on Monday. We have 460 tonnes of pulses, 930 tonnes of refined flour, 1,080 tonnes of rice, 1,100 tonnes of cooking oil and 500 tonnes of sugar. This is enough to last till May 23. In addition, several branded food companies are directly supplying to retailers, and even that stock is left over. There is no need to worry.”
Between Thursday and Friday last week, as the city reported its fourth confirmed case of Covid-19 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a ‘janata curfew’ on March 22, essential goods and food items flew off the shelves at most major supermarkets and general stores, with residents stocking up for uncertain times ahead. PP Saluja, chairman of the Gurugram Wholesalers Association, said, “It is extremely important that residents do not stockpile or hoard more than they require.”
Saluja also said that wholesalers in the district were continuing to order more stock for the period after May 23. “Though many wholesalers presently do not know when the next consignments will arrive, we have been assured that the supply chain for general foods will not be hampered. We have conveyed our request to the deputy commissioner that curbs on transport facilities may hamper the supply. On Monday, for example, police officials were mistakenly halting trucks carrying general goods at the border. We informed the deputy commissioner, who assured us that things will be smoother (in the future),” he said.
Wholesale markets, Saluja and Raghav added, will now open at 2am each day (as opposed to the usual 4am), while grocery stores will open at 7am instead of the usual 9am, to prevent crowding.