People of bordering villages cross over to Tamil Nadu to buy groceries as they are cheaper there
TIRUPATI: Though inflation has cast a shadow on the living standards of the poor, the villages situated near the Tamil Nadu border have found a new way to tame the demon.
The availability of grocery and other essential commodities at a cheaper rate in the neighbouring State has come as a boon to them as they just cross the border to get products.
For example, Pallipattu town in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu, situated just 9 km away from the inter-state border, is surrounded by over 40 villages that fall in Nagari and Karvetinagaram mandals of Chittoor district.
While palm oil costs Rs.54 a litre here, it is only Rs.52 across the border. Groundnut oil costs Rs.70 here and Rs.68 there. Similarly, red gram, black gram, rice, boiled rice, and sugar cost at least Rs.0.50 less a kg there.
Prior to the introduction of value added tax (VAT) in April 2007 in Tamil Nadu, local merchants reaped rich as middlemen procured groceries from farmers of Andhra Pradesh and sold them in Tamil Nadu at a cheaper rate (in the absence of VAT). Now the rates are more or less the same, but for a few rupees.
“We have regular customers from Chokkamadugu, Eduvaripalli, Gopichettypalli, Katherapalle and Karvetinagaram areas of Andhra Pradesh”, says S.M. Farook, a Pallipattu-based provisions merchant. Five years back, Pallipattu had only five provision stores, while the number has now risen to 55, thanks to the heavy demand for groceries from across the border.
“I do not mind taking a bus from Nagari paying Rs.6 as fare as I can save Rs.150 a month towards provisions by purchasing in Pallipattu,” points out K. Chengaiah, a daily wage earner of Nagari.
While Tamil Nadu is already supplying rice at Rs.2 a kg, the prices (per kg) of other products available in the fair price shops there are red gram (Rs.32), black gram (Rs.36), palm oil (Rs.40), sugar (Rs.13.50) and wheat (Rs.7.50). It is learnt that the supply of commodities is relatively better in the fair price shops there compared to ours.
What causes further heartburn is that the merchants procure rice from Chennai wholesale market, which is in turn procured from Andhra Pradesh, as getting the same from Thanjavur --considered the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, costs a little more. That is, the rice procured from our State is sold at a cheaper rate in Tamil Nadu. And the citizens of Andhra Pradesh scamper for the same!
The bordering villages considered themselves to be unlucky for living in a far corner of the State, but now it has proved to be a blessing in disguise...!
The availability of grocery and other essential commodities at a cheaper rate in the neighbouring State has come as a boon to them as they just cross the border to get products. For example, Pallipattu town in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu.