Bhopal: Vendors keep onions under lock and key

  • Shruti Tomar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Aug 26, 2015 19:45 IST
A trader guards his stock of onions at Navbahar vegetable market in Bhopal on Tuesday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT photo)

Mohammad Faruq, a vegetable trader in Bhopal has found a unique use of his goat cage to safeguard his onion stock when price of onion has shot up and at least two reports from Maharashtra have come in the past couple of days regarding theft of huge amount of onion.

Faruq has got his goat out of the cage and kept his onion in about 8-9 gunny bags, locked from outside.

Needless to mention, Faruq doesn’t want any Maharashtra like happening with his onion stock. “Safety is one of the reasons behind keeping the onions in a cage but I shouldn’t be treated as a hoarder.”

Majority of vegetable vendors in Madhya Pradesh are keeping their precious onion stocks either under lock and key or guard the same carefully after a few cases of theft were reported across the country.

Reason: A piece of onion costs Rs 3-4 which is equivalent to their profit margin, they said. The onion is being sold at Rs 50-70 per kg in Bhopal.

A vegetable vendor in Bhopal’s Habibganj market, Mohammed Nafees Qureshi, said, “With the increase in the onion prices, our profit margins have reduced. We can’t bear a loss of a single onion and that’s the reason why we are paying extra attention to this vegetable’s safety.”

A farmer-cum-vendor of Banjari Chowk, Vikas Patel, said that the price rise wasn’t a new phenomenon. “But the theft of onions is. And that has forced us to keep an extra vigil. Thieves could be active in the capital city too because one sack of 40 kg onion is costing Rs 1,500-Rs 1,700 for us. Earlier, it cost us Rs 300 to Rs 400 per sack,” he said.

A Navbahar vegetable market vendor, Anees, blamed the price hike on the hoarders. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to deal with the hoarders.

“But, even after 15 months in power, Modi couldn’t deal with this problem. The hoarding is not a problem for buyers but it for us--the retailers,” he said.

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