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Tirupati: Soaring veggie prices make lives tougher
- Prices of several vegetables have doubled or tripled in the last few weeks
- Monitoring and control by officials during lockdown kept prices under check during lockdown
- People who lost jobs and incomes to Covid-19, are buying less quantity of vegetables
- Vendors cite increasing transport costs and rains for the high prices
Tirupati: Soaring vegetable prices are forcing people to cut back on their consumption. The prices of various vegetables, leafy vegetables and potatoes have skyrocketed in the last few weeks.
During lock down in April and May, the officials monitored the prices and took stringent action against those selling them at higher prices. Even after relaxation of lockdown, prices remained stable for some time.
However, in the last few weeks may be owing to rains or other reasons, prices of vegetables have been going through the roof, with some veggies costing thrice as much as two months ago.
Tomatoes were sold at around Rs.10 a kg three months back but now people are forced to shell out Rs.40-60 depending on the quality. Brinjal was sold at Rs 20-25 during lockdown but now costs between Rs.45-60. So is the case with many varieties, including bitter gourd, cauliflower, ladyfingers, whose prices have crossed Rs.50 a kg while carrots, green chillies, capsicum, beans, etc., are costing more than Rs.65 per kg.
Green leafy veggies also have become out of reach for the common people as they cost between Rs 20-30 for a small quantity. Even the displayed rates in the Rythu Bazar gives a clear picture of huge hike in prices whereas in other makeshift markets which the Municipal Corporation officials have set up since lockdown after closing down the municipal wholesale vegetable market, the prices are much higher as there was no control.
The vendors claim that even at these prices they are not able to cover their costs which have gone up due to increased transport expenses and other overheads. Due to the recent rains there was a shortage of supply of various vegetables and the difficulties being faced by the sellers in transporting them have all contributed to increased prices and reduction in demand.
The rising prices of vegetables are imposing further financial burden on the people who are already reeling under Covid-induced job losses and pay cuts.
A housewife K Sailaja said that they could not spend much now as their income had come down by more than half and hence were buying only small quantities of vegetables which has become very difficult to adjust them for everyone in the household.