Rawalpindi-The district government high ups and their brigade of special price magistrates have allegedly failed to control the rising prices of mutton, chicken, flour, milk, yoghurt, vegetables and fruits in the city.

The defiant shopkeepers, vendors, butchers and grocery merchants are daringly violating the fixed price lists being issued by the market committee Rawalpindi and are charging extra rates from consumers.

At present, the shopkeepers and butchers are reportedly selling 20kg bag of flour at Rs 1300; mutton at Rs 1600 per kg; meat at Rs 900-1000; chicken at Rs 600 per kg; milk at Rs 130-140 per litre; yoghurt at Rs 150-160; potato at Rs 50-70; onion at Rs 90-100; tomato at Rs 150-200; lemon at Rs 1000; garlic at Rs 200-500 and ginger at Rs 200-400 instead of fixed official rates. Similarly, the vendors and shopkeepers are also charging Rs 50-200 extra for each vegetable and fruit in the open market.

Consumers are of the view that the district government has failed in chalking out an effective strategy to overcome the artificial price hike. They urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Punjab to pay surprise visits to the market and witness how grocery merchants and chicken sellers are fleecing the poor consumers round the clock.

According to a survey, conducted by The Nation on Saturday, the price hike is out of control in the areas of Faizabad, Double Road, Dhoke Kala Khan, Shakrial, Sadiqabad, Kuri Road, Muslim Town, Trolley Ada, Transformer Chowk, Chah Sultan, Murree Road, Rawal Road, Committee Chowk, Waris Khan, Commercial Market, Saidpur Road, Raja Bazaar, Bhabra Bazaar, Urdu Bazaar, Dhoke Kashmirian, IJP Road, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Peshawar Road, Misrial, Siham, Chakra, Dhoke Syedan, Baraf Khana Chowk, Girja Road, Bakra Mandi, Dhamial Road, Chakri, Bank Colony, Dhamial Kalyal Road, Chungi Number 22, Tench Bhatta, Saddar, RA Bazaar, Katcheri, Jhanda Cheechi, Rahimabad, Airport Road, Tipu Road, Mareer Chowk, Mareer Hassan, Adiala Road, Khawaja Corporation, Dhoke Juma, Caltax Road, Defense Road, Lalazar, Mubarak Lane, Dhama Morr, Chungi Number 20, Mumtaz Market, Ali Town, Sadiq Town, Hill View Lane, Munawar Colony, Jarahi, Kehkashan Colony, Sanjoli Estate, Landco, Rehman Markaz, Gulshanabad, Kotha Kalan, Morgah, Jari, Morgah Morr, Kalyal, Shahpur, Dehgal, Gorakhpur, Adiala Village, Dhala, Khasala, Chontra, Chakri, Tapai, Tarahiya, Rawat, Kallar Syedan and suburbs.

Arif Ali, a resident of Pirwadhai, while talking to The Nation, complained that butchers are looting the consumers by selling meat and mutton at very high prices. He urged the government to take notice of the situation and bring down the meat and mutton prices.

“Butchers are selling meat at Rs 900 per kg in Rawat and even misbehaving with the customers who dare to raise questions over the looting spree,” said another consumer, Javed Khan.

Babar Hussain of Adiala Road said that the butchers are charging Rs 1,600 against 1 kg mutton with no action on part of the district government. “I have lodged several complaints with the high ups of the district government against the butchers involved in robbing off the customers but no action has been taken so far,” he said.

While on the other hand, several butchers told the correspondent that they were forced to increase the rates due to shortage of animals in the markets. They claimed that traders were exporting animals abroad.

Likewise, dozens of consumers lodged complaints that prices of milk, yoghurt, vegetables, flour, fruits, chicken and pulses have been jacked up by the vendors and shopkeepers across the district.

When contacted, DC Rawalpindi Tahir Farooq said that he would check the situation and take action. Reportedly, a team of special price magistrates carried out a raid in the bazaars of Mankiyala and Sagri to impose fines against the profiteers but the shopkeepers managed to flee before the raids.