CHIEF Minister Mamata Banerjee, not known for chickening out of any situation, saw red when she found that chicken was being sold at a premium — Rs 180-200 a kilo. She has now ordered that the poultry— a staple diet of Bengalis — in the state cannot be sold for more than Rs 150 a kilo.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the task force that monitors prices of essential commodities, Mamata was furious when she came to know that despite her strong words on chicken prices going up earlier this week, the prices have failed to come down. “Henceforth, chicken cannot be sold for more than Rs 150 a kilo. And those flouting the order will be brought to book,’’ she reportedly said.
“At all the 19 markets under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation chicken prices will not be more than Rs 150 per kg,” said Rabindranath Kolay, spokesperson for the task force.
Mamata also ordered that all the outlets operated by Animal Resources Department will sell the poultry at her determined price.
Not only this, mobile vans have also been pressed into service to provide the “cheap protein” to average Bengalis.
Within hours, the Chief Minister’s diktat had an immediate effect with officials queuing up at one such government outlet in the backyard of the Writers’ Buildings. Packets of dressed chicken weighing 500 grams and costing Rs 75 sold like hot cakes. And soon the outlets ran out of stocks.