Bundle of 10 sugarcanes sold at around Rs.100 to Rs.175
TIRUCHI: The city markets witnessed heavy rush on the eve of Pongal as people thronged to make the festival purchase.
Though the prices of commodities, including jaggery and sugarcane, have gone up this season, the festival spirit was evident at the markets. The markets were flooded with sugarcane, turmeric/ginger bunches and mud pots.
While jaggery prices have gone up by about 30 per cent this year, the cost of sugarcane, at Rs.20 to Rs.25 apiece, took consumers by shock. Retailers attributed the rise in the cost to the increase in transportation charges. A bundle of about 10 canes of the edible variety was being sold at around Rs.100 to Rs.175 depending on the quality, retailers claimed. Though abundant arrivals had caused a slump in the price of turmeric over the past few days, the price had been jacked up on Pongal eve. The heavy demand also saw a slight spurt in the price of vegetables in the city markets over the past couple of days.
The Central Bus Stand in the city witnessed a heavy rush of passengers and there was heavy demand for buses to Southern districts including Madurai, Tirunelveli and Nagercoil. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation was running specials to cater to the rush, officials said.
Meanwhile, government agencies and educational institutions joined in the festivities by organising Pongal and Tamil New Year celebrations in various parts of the city.
With all government departments being asked to celebrate the New Year and Pongal officially, most government offices were decked up for the occasion with colourful lights. The Tiruchi Corporation organised a function to celebrate Samuthuva Pongal at its premises on Wednesday, with the Transport Minister, K.N.Nehru, MLAs Anbil Periyasamy and K.N.Sekaran, Collector T.Soundiah, Mayor S.Sujatha and Corporation Commissioner T.T.Balsamy participating in the festivities.
Members of SHGs, corporation councillors and corporation employees joined together to prepare the Pongal.