With their prices shooting up, onions are making people shed tears even before they are chopped.
The cost of a kilo of the ubiquitous bulb has nearly trebled in the last month — from Rs. 15 to Rs. 40. Traders warn that it would only go up further in next few days, driving a hole in the pockets of the common man.
With authorities choosing to ignore the matter, people from different sections of society have been left to their fate.
“The government has failed to come to the rescue of the poor in every sector. Can’t they ensure supply of onions at affordable prices?” asks Laxmamma of Yapral, who works as a maid.
Her husband, Anjaiah, works as watchman. With two school-going sons, and limited income from their work, the couple is cautious when it comes to spending on vegetables.
“Onions prices were the last thing on our minds. Now even that choice is being snatched away,” they say. Repaka Rajitha, a software employee from Boduppal, was shocked to learn that even onions of low-quality were being sold for Rs. 40 a kilo. She was told that she would have shell out five more rupees if she wanted onions of better quality.
“By hinting that prices are likely to shoot up again, traders are compelling us to buy more. How can individual families store onions on large-scale? Only traders and middlemen will make money,” she says.
Anil, who runs Parivar Hotel at Kushaiguda, was told by suppliers that the low yield of onions in drought-hit Maharashtra, the main onion-producer, was the root cause.
Having noticed the shortfall in supply, traders have begun hoarding onions, which might lead to an even greater rise in prices — meaning that onions prices could well cross the 40-rupee mark too.