iconimg Friday, August 28, 2015

Shaswati Das, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 20, 2013
The price of tomatoes has been rising across the city even as that of onions continues to soar. The retail price of tomatoes was between Rs. 58 and Rs. 65 for a kg, almost on a par with that of onions. In some parts of south Delhi, such as Chittaranjan Park and East of Kailash, the cost of one kg of tomatoes was Rs. 62. In some parts of east Delhi such as Preet Vihar, the price of the same quantity of the vegetable stood at Rs. 65.

Retailers reported a dip in supplies. But wholesalers in the city explained that the Uttarakhand floods, which had earlier wreaked havoc on the tomato produce, had had a prolonged effect on the feeble supply.

“Very little is coming in the way of supplies. While Delhi is supposed to get 100 trucks (each 15-18 tonnes) a month, we get about 23-25 trucks. That is insufficient to meet the high demand for staple commodities such as tomatoes and onions. The supply had been hit after the floods and it has still not recovered,” said Anil Malhotra, member, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).

While they warned that the rise in prices of tomatoes and onions would continue for the next one month now, consumers stated that government intervention measures were just eyewash.

Delhi government’s food and supplies minister, Haroon Yusuf, had said that onions would be made available through 150 mobile vans. Shoppers, however, said that the price at which the onions were being sold was hardly a respite from the soaring prices.


“Buying poor quality onions at Rs. 60 from the government’s vans is hardly a relief. These onions can hardly be consumed. They had done this a few weeks back also and even then it was unfit for consumption,” said Vaani Mehta, a resident of east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar.

The Centre on Thursday hiked benchmark price for onion exports by 40% in a bid to control the kitchen staple’s spiralling price. Union minister Sharad Pawar said the rates would ease in two-three weeks.