Ice being sold at thrice the price
PESHAWAR, July 31: Owners of ice factories have hiked the price of ice blocks on the pretext of loadshedding in parts of Peshawar, creating shortage of the commodity and multiplying problems for the consumers in hot weather.
Long queues of people waiting for their turn to get a piece of ice could be seen at different streets and roads in the city during peak evening hours. Usually, at that time consumers do not argue over price and just try to get the commodity to quench their thirst.
“I paid Rs200 for this piece of ice, which in normal days would be available for Rs40,” said one Izhar at Nauthia, holding a small piece of ice in his hands. An ice dealer said that owners of factories had increased the price of ice due to excessive loadshedding.
Meanwhile, the district administration has arrested 12 owners of ice factories for overcharging. They were arrested during raids at Kohat Road, Amin Colony, Safan Chowk and Badbher areas.
A statement issued here on Tuesday said that ice blocks worth Rs500 each were being sold at Rs1,000 and Rs1500. It added that all the accused were charged under 3/6 of Food Act.
The administration also arrested eight butchers on Tuesday and seized substandard meat during raids in Doma Gali at Qissa Khwani.
In Lakki Marwat, people continue to face shortage of ice, as dealers went on strike on Tuesday to protest against the district administration’s decision to fix price of the commodity at Rs7.50 per kg.
An official meeting last week had directed owners of factories to provide per kg ice to dealers at Rs5 for selling it at Rs7.50 per kg to consumers. However, the dealers now say that they can’t implement the official rate, as the administration did not take into consideration the transportation cost and melting of substantial quantity of the commodity during the shifting from factories to bazaars.
The unavailability of ice in markets and shops of ice dealers has created shortage of the commodity in Lakki city, Naurang, Serai Gambila and other towns.
The residents have demanded of the district administration to resolve the issue amicably and ensure availability of ice in the markets.