Covid-19 continues to bring more challenges every passing day. More people fall victim to the virus while case tally continues to grow rapidly. India logged a record rise of 3,52,991 new cases and 2,812 deaths during the last 24 hours, the health department said on Monday. Jammu and Kashmir also recorded yet another grim milestone as 25 persons succumbed to the virus, highest so far in a single day, and 2172 fresh infections in 24 hours as 1700 hours on April 26. Some experts fear that cases could hit a million daily infections in India next month. The situation is grim as these numbers tell a story which is just a tiny fragment of the misery enveloping the region. While hospitals are getting occupied with those needing critical care, some vast buildings are being turned to covid-19 facilities by the administration. In fact the situation is getting stretched to a breaking point as far the health infrastructure is concerned. While there is gloom everywhere, some unscrupulous people are taking undue advantage of the situation. At a time when people are facing a hard time due to the mounting virus cases, soaring prices of essential commodities have doubled their woes. People are forced to purchase commodities at whatever prices fixed by the retailers. Fruits and vegetables continue to be sold at exorbitant prices with hardly any takers for the notified rate list by the government.
Complaints galore across Kashmir Valley that people are forced to purchase commodities at prices fixed by the retailers. Not only vegetables and fruits, edible oil prices have virtually gone through the roof with some brands being sold more than 25 percent more than they used to be not so long ago.
It is here that the government should come forward and streamline the markets especially in controlling factors that are associated with pure malpractices by some unscrupulous people. The administration needs to face local challenges with a lot more authority than it is showing or lacking presently. At all levels, the administration is responsible for safeguarding the interest of the common people. There is a full-fledged department, tasked with the duty of managing the prices of essentials. However, there are complaints that the concerned officials are not taking action against the errant which only encourages the former at the peril of consumers. The official machinery needs to step up efforts to give relief to the common consumer.