Serena Josephine M.
Lorry strike has affected the supply to Puducherry
PUDUCHERRY: Vegetables turned dearer for consumers in Puducherry owing to the hike in fuel prices and the subsequent lorry strike. Spiralling costs have left wholesale and retail dealers with dull sales.
With lorries staying off the roads from Wednesday in the Union Territory, the supply of vegetables from neighbouring and northern States have been largely affected, wholesale vegetable dealers said.
“The supply of vegetables is mostly from Tiruchi and Bangalore. The lorry strike has affected the supply to Puducherry, resulting in low supply of vegetables from other States,” president of Pondicherry Goods Transporters’ Association R. Ezhumalai said.
Vegetable vendors attribute the escalating costs to the hike in fuel price.
“As a result of the increase in fuel price, we have to spend more on transport expenditure. Onions are supplied from Pune and the transport expenditure for this distance has increased a lot,” A.M. Murugan, a wholesale dealer of vegetables, said.
For instance, 60 paise was charged for every kg of vegetables brought by lorry from Chennai.
At present, this rate had increased to 70 paise per kg, he said, adding that the rent for lorries had increased from Rs. 22,000 to Rs. 33,000 for supply from northern States.
“The rate of all vegetables has increased by Rs.2to Rs. 3 now.
“Earlier, a kg of onions was priced at Rs. 7 to Rs. 8. It is now Rs. 12 to Rs. 14 at the retail market,” Mr. Murugan said.
Apart from onions, carrots too are costlier this season spiralling from Rs. 15 earlier to Rs. 22 to Rs. 24 per kg at the retail market.
At retail market
The cost of other vegetables at the retail market are: tomato – Rs. 5, potato – Rs. 12, beans – Rs. 16, green chillies – Rs. 16, cauliflower – Rs. 12 to Rs. 14, cabbage – Rs. 5, beetroot – Rs. 8, lady’s finger – Rs. 16, peas – Rs. 40, drumstick – Rs. 14 and bitter gourd – Rs. 14.
The cost of the vegetables was less by Rs. 2 at the wholesale market, he added.
Not as expected
“The sales are not as expected. Owing to high prices, the sale of vegetables is very dull now,” said R. Ashok, a retail vegetable seller.
And this was not all as the price of onions was expected to increase further, the vendors added.