Gangtok, 02 Jul:

District Magistrate (East) yesterday passed an order to control production, supply and distribution of essential commodities as provided under Section 03 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 due to the possibility of disruption in the normal movement of heavy vehicles, trucks, tankers carrying essential commodities to the district due to the ongoing disturbances in Darjeeling which have affected vehicular movement along National Highway10.

All Sub Divisional Magistrates in the district have been directed to form Sub-Divisional inspection teams and carryout intensive inspection of all bazaar areas in their respective jurisdictions to curtail malpractices like illegal hoarding, black marketing and unjustified escalation in the commodity prices. Necessary legal action shall be taken by the concerned Station Head Officer and Food Inspectors as per the penal provision of Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

All petroleum products/fuel outlets in the district have been instructed to ration the sale of High Speed Diesel and Motor Spirit to the buyers.

For the general public not more than 20 liters of HSD/MS will be given per vehicle per day by the petrol pumps on production of requisite coupons/permissions from the designated authorities.

All petrol pumps in the district are required to maintain a minimum buffer stock of 1,500 liters each of HSD & MS excluding the dead stock in the storage tank.

In case of emergencies, 30 liters of HSD/MS is admissible on the production of requisite coupons/ permission from the issuing authorities on submission of valid reason. Further, all petrol pumps are directed to maintain proper record of sale of fuel.

District Magistrate (West) had also passed a similar order on 01 Jul to tackle the shortage of commodities in West Sikkim.

(The Essential Commodities Act was enacted way back in 1955. It has since been used by the Government to regulate the production, supply and distribution of a whole host of commodities it declares ‘essential ‘in order to make them available to consumers at fair prices.)