New Delhi: The Union government, Friday, rubbished rumours of a salt shortage in Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi-NCR region.
Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan said, “No shortage of salt, prices are the same. State governments need to take action on those who spread rumours.”
The Department of Consumer Affairs, Govt of India, said, “As per prices reported by centres from across country, there has been no increase in price of salt,no report about disruption in production. There is sufficient manoeuvrability to meet any unexpected localised shortage, if any.”
The clarification came after rumours were rife that the price of salt has gone up to Rs 400 per kg in Uttar Pradesh and up to Rs 250 per kg in the National Capital Region.
This led to a panic like situation in Noida, Laxmi Nagar, Chandni Chowk and some other places.
Rumours of no salt stocks in Uttar Pradesh led to panic buying in many parts of the state late on Friday.
Lucknow Senior Superintendent of Police Manjil Saini trashed reports on paucity of salt and dubbed it as "mischief" by some rumourmongers.
While it was yet to be determined how the rumour started, people flocked to grocery shops and retail outlets in large numbers to buy salt in large quantities. As the panic spread, several quintals of salt vanished from shop shelves.
In some areas salt was said to be selling, if available, anywhere between Rs 100-Rs 200 per kg.
Meanwhile, police was directed to increase patrolling as the rumour could result in a law and order situation, an official said.
Lucknow Inspector General of Police A. Satish Ganesh asked all SSPs in the zone to start special patrolling in busy thoroughfares and markets to prevent untoward incidents.
A special team has been put on the trail of a message that went viral within minutes of appearing on social media sites, triggering panic.
With IANS inputs