|Hotels, food outlets have a field day, Govt unmoved|
|Minam Saqib |
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Sept 8: The restaurants and food outlets in summer capital are overcharging their customers. A restaurant at Lal Chowk sells a plate of cholle batore for Rs 135, while another adjacent to it sells it for just for Rs 50. A water bottle, which normally costs Rs 20, is available for Rs 35 at a hotel in Lal Chowk. Several hotels around Lal Chowk sell lassi, which usually costs Rs 30 a glass, for Rs 80. The customer who spoke said they were being taken for a ride. "I just purchased a Biryani (Full) here for Rs 220, whereas many food outlets sell it for Rs 180-200. I fail to understand this variation in the rates," said Basit Ahmad. Sharif Ahmad, who was buying food items at Lal Chowk, added: "It seems there is no government rate-list present in the market." "The restaurants and hotels don't have the rate list on public display. Many of them have outdated lists, while the food items have gone beyond the reach of a common man." An official said the rate list describes "weight and rate of all bakery and confectionery items". The government has also fixed the rates for bakery items. The Namkeen Kulcha has been priced Rs 260 per kg. For 80 grams Pineapple Pastry, Black Forest Pastry, and White Forest Pastry, the rates have been fixed Rs 40, 60, and 60, respectively. For each kg of chocolate fudge, the rate has been fixed Rs 330. Black Forest Cake has been fixed Rs 400 per 400 grams. Finni/ Katlam has been fixed Rs 160 per kg.Fish roll has been priced Rs 40. Each chicken Kabab has been priced Rs 120. However, the people regret that government has failed to implementation the rate list. "Rate list is there but the government has to check whether there is any implementation," Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Barbar Shah said. Bakery products are governed under Packaged Commodity Rules, which is a mandate of Legal Meteorology Department.
An official of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department said, "We are collecting the details; those violating the rate lists would be dealt with as per the law. We are committed to keep the prices of the food items under control."