Karnataka

Argument over onions ends in tears

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Four people injured, two of them seriously after row

Four people were injured, two of them seriously, when a hotel refused to serve them fresh onions with biriyani in Belagavi on Thursday night.

Kiran Hadimani, 19, and Ankush Chalageri, 23, came to a hotel in Nehru Nagar here in the evening.

They asked for mutton biriyani and got upset when the dish did not contain fresh onions.

They picked up a fight with a waiter who refused to give them onions saying that they were costly and could not be accommodated in the bill that they would pay for the dish.

Kiran and Ankush received stab injuries and were treated at the district hospital. They were discharged later.

Two waiters of the hotel also received minor injuries.

A case has been registered.

“The price of onions has hit the hotels hard,” said Jayaprakash Shetty, who runs a hotel in the old city. He said some hotels had replaced onions with cabbages due to the high prices.

Wholesale prices stood at ₹15,500 per quintal for first quality red onion in the Belagavi market on Friday. Street vendors did not sell below ₹170 per kg in extension areas and between ₹145-160 in the sabji mandi near Shaniwarkoot.

In the wholesale market, small onions and broken onions are selling for ₹4,560 to ₹7,920 per quintal.

Mid-size onions are selling for ₹8,500 to ₹11,000 per quintal. They have a premium of around 10- 20% in the retail market.

Onion arrivals in the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees in Belagavi, the biggest market for vegetables in north-western Karnataka, have dropped significantly, say officials.

In October, the arrivals were around 65,000 quintals. But in the first week of December, the arrivals have dropped by half, said a APMC officer.

“We received around 1.8 lakh bags in around 700 lorries throughout October. But now, the average inflow is only around 10 lorries per day. That will not meet the demand,” he said.

Wholesale prices in Belagavi will affect retail prices in Goa and some south Maharashtra districts as they source onions from the Belagavi APMC yard, said another officer.

“The input districts for our market are Vijayapura, Bagalkot, and Dharwad, apart from Belagavi. Most onion-growing areas in these districts were flooded this time. That has affected the growth of the crop,” said Danappa Shankareppa, a vegetable trader, who has bought and sold the bulbs for over 15 years.

Some traders are stocking them or diverting them to metros.

That has affected our price points here, said Ahmed Farooq Seth, another trader. He however feels that trend would change in a month when fresh stocks would arrive from other districts.

“This Wednesday we had bidders from places like Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. But there was not enough stock. The price shot up from ₹8,500 to ₹15,500 per quintal. This trend may continue for another week at least,” said an officer from the Agriculture Marketing Department.

According to traders, the price had peaked only once in the past five years. In 2014, it touched ₹8,670 per quintal in the wholesale market and crossed ₹90 per kg in the retail market. But the next year, it fell to ₹950 per quintal in the whole sale market and ₹12 per kg in the retail market.

It touched ₹7,560 per quintal in the wholesale market and ₹80 per kg in the retail market in 2013 .

In 2016, it declined to ₹764 per quintal in the wholesale market and ₹9 per kg in the retail market.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:25:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/argument-over-onions-ends-in-tears/article30214602.ece

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