LAHORE - Tomato prices shot up overnight before the vegetable reached Sunday Bazaars and in open market, leaving the citizens in chaos.

People expressed annoyance over the price hike and the shortage of tomato which was sold Rs 280 per kg to Rs 300 per kg in open market while at Rs 160 in Sunday bazaars. However, the quality of tomato was not up to the mark in the Bazaars set up in nine towns.

Ajmal Mustafa, resident of Johar Town, told The Nation that tomato shortage has created a crisis-like situation. “Tomato sold at Model Bazaar of Johar Town is not up to the mark and shopkeepers are just making money. We see no government control here. In fact this has been going on right under the nose of government,” he said. On the other hand, a City Administration spokesman said 82 shopkeepers were arrested for overcharging and were slapped with a fine of Rs40,000. Lahore Deputy Commissioner Sumair Ahmed Syed asked the officers not to allow profiteering and ensure the supply of tomatoes.

Meanwhile, Punjab Food Authority raided over Sunday Bazaars of all districts of Punjab. During the raid, around 2000kg of rotten edibles were discarded on the spot. PFA director-general Noorul Amin Mengal said that instructions have been passed to administration regarding examination report of Sunday Bazaar and PFA teams are also directed to ensure the food standards.

In other activities, Wahdat Colony, Model Town, Township and some other Sunday Bazaars in the city were checked whereas Sunday Bazaars in Multan,Gujranwala ,Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Kasur, Nankana, Sheikhupura, Sarghoda, Bahawalpur, DG khan, RY Khan and other cities were also checked.