Mumbai: Just as people plan to make their Diwali purchases, they have been in for a rude shock with the vegetable prices soaring since over a week. The prices in retail have doubled as the wholesale cost of vegetables of Agriculture Produce Market Committee have increased by 20 per cent increase.
Consumers said that the increasing cost of vegetables during the festive season have hit their budgets. “This Diwali seems hardly like a festival with expenses increasing. The prices of vegetables are disconcerting because this is the time when we eat only vegetables,” said Manasvi Shirodkar. The unseasonal rainfall in the last one week has destroyed some stock and traders have found it difficult as some vegetables have rotted. As a result, the price of onions, tomatoes, lady’s finger and cauliflower have doubled.
“It takes at least eight hours to transport the vegetables, which are brought from all over Maharashtra and unloaded at retail stores. During this period, the fluctuating weather conditions have spoilt vegetables like spinach and cauliflower,” said Prashant Jagtap, secretary of Ghavuk Bhajipala Mahasangh, a federation body of vegetable traders body in the city.
A trader while speaking to Free Press Journal said, “The cost of vegetables has increased due to sudden rains and rising temperatures which have damaged some of our items.” He added, “In the past one week, there have been unprecedented rains in the evening and extreme humidity during the morning hours. This will obviously affect perishable items like vegetables.” Jagtap cautioned that the quality of the vegetables deteriorate during the transportation itself. In addition, with this unusual humidity it destroys the stock immediately.
Cauliflower is being sold at a rate between Rs 100 to Rs 120 per kilograms in areas of Virar, Chembur and Kandivali and Rs 40 in Thane, while Rs 80 in South Mumbai. Similarly, the rates of onions and tomatoes have increased and they are sold at a rate between Rs 40 to Rs 50 throughout the city.
Andheri resident Huma said, “Expect tomatoes, price of every vegetable has sky rocketed. Cauliflower costs Rs 120 now, few days back when I bought them, it was Rs 80. In the end, I just bought onions, tomatoes and other essential vegetables.” Wholesale prices have increased by 20 per cent and retail amount has almost doubled.