Quenching thirst is a costly affair in Tirupati
Tirupati: The enormous power cuts and the soaring summer heat are affecting perhaps over 3 lakh resident population and about 80,000 floating...
Tirupati: The enormous power cuts and the soaring summer heat are affecting perhaps over 3 lakh resident population and about 80,000 floating population in Tirupati in several ways. While residents and pilgrims are sweating it out, petty businessmen in busy centres like bus station and railway station in the city are beaming with happiness as their sales have surged. Most of the businesses in these centres sell bottled water and soft beverages. Soaring heat drives people to these shops to quench their thirst either with chilled bottled water or cooled soft drinks. Sensing an increase in the demand for water bottles and soft drinks, the traders have jacked up the prices and have been selling them at prices higher than the MRP. Last month a bottle of water was sold for Rs 16. Today, it is being sold for Rs 22 near the bus station, while in other centres it is being sold at Rs 20. This Rs 4 to Rs 6 variation is drilling a hole in the pockets of the consumer, while the extra amount was filling the cash boxes of the petty traders. The situation was also the same with branded soft drinks. The drinks with a price tag of Rs 12 are being sold at Rs 16. If any pilgrim dare to question on the price difference, the shopkeepers simply attribute it to the summer, power cuts, and budget and above all to the increase in transport charges thanks to the hike in diesel rates. Some of them also point towards the excessive use of generators due to power cuts. When health-conscious pilgrims consider purchasing tender coconuts, they get a rude shock. A nut that has just two ounce of water is being sold for Rs 15, while a moderate sized nut would cost anywhere between Rs 25-30. When poor people, who cannot afford to purchase bottled water, try to drink water provided in the bus station they are confronted with poorly maintained taps and stinking surroundings. Customers are left with only one choice this summer: buy the product at any cost to quench their thirst.