With Deepavali fast approaching, rising vegetable and onion prices continue to hassle consumers in the capital. It has been over a month, and the subsidized price tag of onions in Rythu bazaars still reads Rs. 33 per kg, while the price in the retail market continues to be around Rs. 50 per kg. Mind you, the price of premium quality onion still sails over Rs. 60 per kg.
Catching up fast, the prices of vegetables, especially tomato, are making consumers feel the pinch as their monthly budget has been hit. Tomato that was offered at Rs. 22 per kg in Rythu bazaars on October 13 is now sold at Rs. 36 per kg, an increase of Rs. 14 per kg in over a week. The same tomato is offered at Rs. 40 per kg in mobile Rythu bazaars in various localities.
It is not just tomato, the prices of capsicum, carrot, ivy gourd and field beans have crossed Rs. 32 per kg. Right from rising fuel costs, Samaikyandhra agitation to unseasonal rainfall, Rythu bazaar officers and retail market dealers have listed out the reasons behind the escalating prices of vegetables.
Everyday, nearly 100 quintals of tomato arrive at each Rythu bazaar in the capital, but in the last few days, the arrivals have come down to 80 quintals. Apart from low supply, unseasonal rains that lashed the State have damaged tomato crops to a large extent, explains a Rythu bazaar estate officer.
“Last week, the authorities had said that onion prices would come down in a few days. They also said that the arrivals would improve, aiding in bringing down the prices, but, unfortunately, the supplies did not improve, and prices continue to be high,” he adds.
Also, low arrival of vegetables in the wholesale market at Bowenpally has impacted prices. Owing to the Samaikyandhra agitation, there was a minor impact on arrivals, and following the rise in diesel prices, truck operators had raised transportation charges, and all these have played a role in vegetables turning dearer, explains Ramana, a retail vegetable vendor at Domalguda.