Raipur: Amid the soaring onion prices, as many as 636 quintals of the agri-commodity worth around Rs 30 lakhs was seized during raids by sleuths of food and revenue departments at two godowns in the city.

"The onions were hoarded in the godowns of M/s Nagraj and M/s Tikamdas located in Bhanpuri area on the outskirts of Raipur," a food department official said.

Following a tip-off, the officials last evening raided the site and seized 636 quintals of onion, 350 quintals from godown of M/s Nagraj and 286 quintals from M/s Tikamdas, he said.

The onions were stored without obtaining permission and other valid documents from the department, he said.

The action was taken following the directives by Chief Minister Raman Singh to conduct special drives to check hoarding of the pricey kitchen staple and other food commodities, in an apparent bid to check the rising prices of essential food items, he said.

During inspection, the traders were informed that onion and potato have been included within the purview of stock-holding limits under the Essential Commodities Act-1955, therefore, it is mandatory to publish stock and prices of onion on their billboards.

The CM has directed all the district collectors to carry out similar surprise inspections in their respective region and keep a close watch on the situation.

The food and revenue departments officials also raided godowns in Bilaspur and Durg district headquarters, but no hoarded stock of onions was found there.

However, necessary instructions were given to merchants there too, the official added.

Meanwhile, the wholesale prices of onion today fell below the Rs 50 per kg mark at the Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, Asia's biggest onion market, due to curbs on exports and fear of action against hoarding.

Even at Azadpur mandi in Delhi, wholesale onion price declined by Rs 3-5 per kg to Rs 53 today on increase in arrival of new crop from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. However, retail onion prices across the country continue to rule as high as Rs 80 per kg.

At Lasalgaon, which sets the price trend across the country, the wholesale onion price declined to Rs 48.5 per kg today from Rs 57 per kg last week, according to the data maintained by Nashik-based National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF).