LAHORE - Shortage of essential commodities and quality issue marred the performance of much hyped Sasta Ramazan Bazaars on the first day of the holy month of fasting on Sunday. Though the Ramazan Bazaars attracted a large number of people throughout the day due to lesser prices of essential commodities, absence of items in demand disturbed the visitors who were left with no other option but to go to the open market and pay higher prices. At these bazaars, atta, sugar and potato remained evasive items for majority of the visitors, especially in the afternoon. At Ramazan Bazars, the price of different items was Rs 5 to Rs 10 less than the open market but the quality of commodities and their continuous supply remained a big question mark. The administration brought atta and sugar in trucks and sold these items at the same vehicles. Huge demand of these items and scarcity of space created problems for the buyers. Majority of the people have to go empty handed as two trucks loaded with sugar and atta proved insufficient to cater the requirements at majority of the bazaars. At almost all the bazaars, the administration did not bother to send fresh supply of sugar and atta that caused serious shortage of these items, especially in the afternoon and in the evening. On reports of shortage of essential commodities, especially atta and sugar, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif visited different Ramazan Bazaars and listened to the public complaints. He directed the officials to improve supply of essential commodities, especially that of items in demand. He also directed the officials to keep a check on the quality and prices of essential commodities. The city district government officials including the DCO Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta also visited different Ramazan Bazaars and took on the spot action against the officials responsible for negligence from duties. The officials said that the government is ensuring direct supply from the farm and factories to these bazaars to keep the prices low. They, however, admitted that supply issue was hampering the performance of Ramazan Bazaars. They believe that the supply would improve in next couple of days that would help removing complaints about scarcity of commodities at Ramazan Bazaars. Meanwhile, DCO Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta visited different Ramazan Bazaars to check arrangements. He suspended inspector market committee Muhammad Tariq for not ensuring display of rate lists at stalls and sale of commodities at higher rates at Green Town Bazaar. He issued show-cause notice to sanitary inspector for improper parking arrangements and sanitation conditions at Shadman Bazaar. He cancelled stall of a shopkeeper for selling dates at inflated rates at Ramazan Bazaar Gulberg. Over the shortage of sugar and atta at Madina Colony, Nishter Town, Tajpura and Shalimar Bazars, the DCO directed the officials to send fresh supply of these items and ensure their sale till 6 pm. He directed the officials to fix places for vehicles loaded with sugar and atta and ensure provision of necessary facilities to the buyers.