ANDHRA PRADESH

A point to ponder between the fours and sixes

Special Correspondent

It is time the Government itself fixed the price of eatables at the stadia

VISAKHAPATNAM: No one believes that Vizagites are starved of water if they witnessed the scene at the ACA-VDCA Stadium as soon as the fourth and final ODI between Sri Lanka and India came to an end on Saturday.

Some thousands of water sachets were thrown on the ground when Yuvraj Singh scored winning runs for India to complete an authoritative win. Although this was done out of jubilation, the spectators had wasted a huge quantity of water .

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation provided an abundant water sachets to the spectators for this match since the arrangement made for the last match at the stadium (two years ago between India and Pakistan) were found to be inadequate. But this precaution was mis-utilised by the spectators at the end of the match.

Incidentally the water sachets were the only item for which the spectators did not pay at the venue. But they had to pay through their nose for the food, soft drinks and ice cream at the stalls set up in the stands. The thousands of spectators turned out to be a `captive market' for the sellers as they could not out to buy them in the name of security.

Taking advantage

A star hotel that was given the catering contract charged heavy price for the food it sold. Vegetable biryani of 300 grams quantity was sold at a whopping price of Rs. 50, curd rice and pulihora of the same quantity were marginally less, Rs. 40. A pair of samosas cost Rs.20 while they might not cost more than Rs. 8, vegetable puff which was three fourths of the size of a piece available at any bakery was priced at Rs. 10, mint sandwich, plum cake and a plate of two iddlis and a vada was each sold at Rs. 30.

While this private hotel must have made best use of the `captive market' it was shocking to see the cooperative sector Visakha Dairy selling its buttermilk sachets at a price more than the MRP . The Rs. 3 sachets were sold at Rs. 5. When asked, a vendor said he was told by the management to do so.

A soft drinks company that had sole rights inside the stadium sold a glass of soft drink at Rs. 15. Ice cream sellers took the cake. The Rs. 10 cup was sold at double the price.

But there was hardly any protest from the spectators who simply paid the high price probably because they did not get anything else. It is time the Government itself fixed the price of eatables at the stadiums and other places like parks and tourists places, visited by the public.