People in large numbers across summer capital Srinagar on Sunday thronged markets to purchase essentials after the district administration announced to re-impose the lockdown in order to control growing cases of Covid19. People queued up outside shops and roadside vendors to purchase vegetables, groceries and medicine.
As soon the news of a fresh lockdown in Srinagar spread on social media, markets became abuzz with people. Inam Ahmad, one of the shoppers at a departmental store in Hyderpora said he was stocking up all essentials including biscuits and bakery products. "Even during the last lockdown, I had purchased quite a few essentials including ready to make food items which came quite handy. This time as the lockdown is quite uncertain, I have stocked up for two weeks," said Inam.
Owner of a departmental store said people in large numbers were purchasing flour, packaged milk, etc. "The demand for all these food items has suddenly increased. Whatever stocks of packaged milk and flour we had in our godown has been sold out," said Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar, owner of a departmental store at Hyderpora.
Similarly, shops selling chicken and butcher shops also witnessed a huge rush. "I purchased 2 kilograms of mutton and some chicken. The growing cases of Covid are quite alarming so no one is sure how long the lockdown will continue," said Muhammad Ashraf, a shopper.
Most of the people making purchases complained of overpricing by the shopkeepers, especially those selling poultry products and vegetables. Chicken which is priced at Rs 135 per kilogram as per the notified price list of the government was being sold Rs 20 to Rs 30 costlier. Even though shopkeepers were seen selling vegetables at higher prices, all kinds of veges witnessed a huge demand.
"People are purchasing onions, potatoes, etc. in bulk. I have finished almost the entire stock of vegetables in just two hours," said a vegetable vendor at Peerbagh. People were also seen stocking up medicines even as officials said there "were enough stocks of life saving drugs available in the markets".
"People should not resort to panic buying as we have sufficient stocks of food and medicines available. Even during the last lockdown we ensured that people in need of medicines don't suffer," said an official.