Mumbai: The prices of flowers seem to be in full bloom on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi, much to the dismay of countless devotees. In municipal markets, flowers like marigold and hibiscus (especially meant for Ganpati Bappa) were selling for Rs 120-150 per kilo and Rs 50 for five, respectively.

Flower-sellers blamed the hike on fuel prices and the ban on plastic in the state (since June 23), on account of which their overheads have gone up.The Dadar flower market is considered to be the best and the biggest in the city for fresh flowers. Truckloads of flowers are kept in readiness for devotees as the city gears up for the festival. Pandurang Amle, secretary of Dadar flower market, said that there could be two major reasons for the rise in prices. He said, “Our market receives flowers from all over Maharashtra and Karnataka. While we receive marigold from within, Mogra comes from Karnataka. During festivals, the demand rises manifold.

This year, prices of flowers have gone up even more due to the fuel hike and the plastic ban.”Usually in Dadar market, one can buy 20 orchids for Rs 250, 20 roses for Rs 80 and marigold at Rs 40 per kilo. But, on Wednesday, prices rose by 30 per cent. Orchids were selling at Rs 320 – Rs 350, while roses cost around Rs 15-Rs 20 each. Marigold, the festival staple, saw a three-fold increase in price, selling at Rs 120- Rs 150 a kilo. This year, flowers are more expensive than in previous years, said devotees. Vandana Surve, a Dadar resident said, “The fuel hike may have added to the seasonal price change. However, we have no option but to buy it for the festival.”