Kakinada, May 11 (UNI) East Godavari, one of the salt producing districts in Andhra Pradesh, was facing shortage of salt, especially the branded iodised salts, making the consumer depend upon the locally produced common crystal salt despite the ban imposed on its use.
The shortage was being felt from the last one month, which is the 'mango pickle season.' The reason for the shortage, according to traders, was the damage caused to the salt fields in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Orissa due to unseasonal rains that lashed a couple of months ago.
''We are not getting branded salts like Tata, Captain Cook and Annapoorna from the distributing agencies for the past two months.
Thereby we are forced to sell non-iodised common salt and small quantity of local brand of iodised salt,'' said Nageswerarao, a local businessman.
The shortage in the supply of salt had resulted in steep hike in its price to the extent of Rs two per kg for non-iodised salt and Rs four per kg for local brand of the iodised salt. ''Now the consumers have to pay Rs six per kg of non-iodised salt and Rs ten per kg for the iodised salt.
The non-iodised common salt, earlier sold by vendors at each household at Rs six per kg, was now marketed in a different form.
The non-iodised crystal salt was grinded and being marketed in one kg packets at an exorbitant price of Rs 12 under the name 'special salt for mango pickle.' East Godavari District Collector Gopalakrishna Dwivedi, on receipt of the several complaints from the consumers, had directed the Civil Supplies authorities to conduct surprise checks at godowns to unearth iodised salt stocks. The authorities were also in touch with the branded salt manufacturers to make it available through the fair price shops. UNI XR/BR SJ 1900