Lucknow: Amid rumours of scarcity of salt, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday said there is no dearth of the commodity and it was adequately available across the state.
He also appealed to the people not to pay attention to such rumours and avoid panic buying.
The Chief Minister also directed the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Food) and all District Magistrates to take action against those indulge in hoarding, black marketing and creating artificial scarcity of the commodity, and warned strict action against them.
His directions came following rumours of black marketing of essential commodities like salt in the state after shopkeepers refused to provide change when offered with higher denomination notes.
In Moradabad, there were reports of panicked customers flocking to market as rumours flew thick and fast that salt has gone out of shelves and shopkeepers are selling at a premium.
Circle Officer Kotwali area Poonam Mishra said police has been sent to Katra Naj from where reports of black marketing had emanated.
She said complaints will be filed against some shopkeepers for allegedly triggering the rumours of salt shortage and charging premium for providing essential commodities.
In Makbara and Karbula markets also people thronged the area to purchase salt because of rumours of shortage and black marketing. Police force were sent to get the shops closed as people had lined up to buy the essential commodities.
ADM City Arun Kumar Srivastava said magistrates and police would be deputed to check any attempt to black market essential commodities.
In Allahabad, some claimed that shopkeepers in certain parts of the city were refusing to sell the salt.
Zainab Zafar, a resident of the city's Kareli area, "It was shocking that salt was not available in many of the local kiraana shops here, with some of the shopkeepers refusing to sell it saying the prices of salt will escalate tomorrow and will cost around Rs 300 per kg".
Zoha Rahman, a resident of Bamrauli on the city's outskirts, said kirana shops reopened in the night with people thronging them to buy salt following the news that it will soon go out of stock and its prices will sky-rocket.