MARDAN - With the start of second Ashra of the holy month of Ramazan, the prices of chicken, meat and other necessary edible items showed unprecedented increase in the local markets while the local administration is playing a role of a silent spectator in this connection.

Visiting various bazaars and markets in the city, it was observed that hoarders and profiteers have started exploiting customers with both hands whereas the government machinery do not take any notice of the grave situation.

In the Bank road, Bigut Gunj, Gaju Khan, Shaheedano Bazaar, Charsadda Chowk, it was observed that people were taking less interest in buying chickens and meat products due to its soaring prices.

The government had fixed the rate of milk at Rs85 per kg while it is selling at the rate of Rs90 to 100 per kilogram. Likewise, the rate of meat was fixed at Rs220/kg while it is being sold at Rs250 to 300/kg. The prices of vegetables and other commodities have also been increased.

In these bazaars, official rate of per kilogramme chicken was fixed at Rs155 but it is selling at Rs180 to Rs200 per kg rate, whereas milk is being sold at Rs90 to 100 per kg at different sell points in the open market instead of Rs85 per kg fixed by government. The yoghurt is being sold at Rs80 to Rs90 per kg while government has fixed its price Rs70 per kg. Tomato is being sold in vegetables market at Rs150 to 200 per kg as shopkeepers have made artificial shortage of tomato in the market.

People have shown concern over the increased prices of essential commodities like milk, yoghurt and mutton as local administration was failed to control rates and artificial shortage of vegetables in the city. 

Ilyas Khan, a government employee, while buying commodities at Bank Road said that chicken and meat were now beyond the reach of middle class people due to their soaring prices. He said that he used to buy chicken poultry once in a weak but now in his limited income it was difficult to afford even once in a month. He termed the district administration responsible for the unchecked prices fixed by poultry main dealers and big shopkeepers.

He also alleged that most of the officials of the district administration have ‘behind the curtain’ contacts, as they take daily from almost all main dealers and venders.

The people demanded the government to activate the Price Control Committee to punish the profiteers. When contacted, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mardan Amir Latif office on office phone the PS replied that he was in meeting and when he become free he would himself contact you but he could not.

Crackdwon

Police claimed to have arrested 56 suspected persons, including 17 proclaimed offenders (POs) and recovered huge quantity of weapons and narcotics during a mid-night crackdown in rural areas of Mardan. Talking to the media on Monday, District Police Officer Gul Afzal Afridi said the police launched the operation against criminals in rural areas.  He said various dens of criminals in Gujarat and Bakhshali villages and its surrounding areas were raided to arrest scores of suspected people involved in crime. He said 56 suspected people, including 17 proclaimed offenders, were arrested.  He added that police recovered 7 Kalashnikov rifles, 7 Kalakov rifles, 52 pistols, 15 shot guns, 11 rifles, 2209 rounds and 1745 grams of hashish were also recovered during the operation.