The vegetable markets in the city wore a deserted look with the Telangana bandh disrupting normal life for the second consecutive day. At Bowenpally Market Yard, lorries laden with vegetables were stopped from entering the market yard on Monday by agitators.
A similar sight greeted the few customers near Monda Market in Secunderabad which was partially closed. While some vendors were seen selling their wares, most of the market remain closed. “Since Saturday our business has been badly hit. People are scared to come out of their homes to make purchases. I have sold vegetables at Rs.2 less than usual as the demand is low,” says Srinivas, a vendor. Erragada Rythu Bazaar, though open saw very less customer footfall on Monday.
However, vendors in residential areas made a quick buck on Monday morning by charging exorbitant amount for vegetables. Citing shortage as a reason, many vegetables such as onions, cabbages, cauliflowers and beans were sold at Rs.5 more than normal rate. “On Friday I bought lady’s fingers for Rs.20 and today it is Rs.25. The same is the case with onions and green chillies,” says C. Manjula, a housewife.When questioned, vendors say they have ‘little choice’ as they are selling them by taking a high risk.
Retail outlets like Reliance Fresh and Heritage too were closed in most parts of the city. “Already the prices were sky-rocketing and now this bandh has added to our woes,” says Prajay Kumar, a customer at Erragada Rythu Bazaar. With no proper price regulations, customers worry vendors might take advantage of the non-availability in the coming days. “Either we pay the price they ask us or go without vegetables for some days,” points Mr. Kumar.