A Delhi government team has reached Maharashtra to purchase onions from the Nashik market in a bid to lower prices of the kitchen staple which has surged to as much as Rs. 90-100 in the national capital region.
"I had a telephonic talk with (Delhi chief minister) Sheila Dikshit about availability to onions in Maharashtra following which a team of Delhi government officials arrived in the state yesterday," Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters in Pune on Friday.
He added that "they will be purchasing onions from Nashik (Lasalgaon market) as per their requirements." Lasalgaon in Nashik, about 200km from here, is the country's largest onion market.
"There is no hoarding of onions by traders in Maharashtra. We had a reduced production of the commodity because of unseasonal rains but the situation will improve by November 1 when the new crop starts arriving in the market." Chavan said because of the facilities provided by the government, the farmers were in a position to ensure a better shelf life for the perishable crop which they earlier used to dispose in a panic sale, flooding the markets.
The Chief Minister said his Government was ready to help out the Delhi administration and make them available necessary quantity of onions for purchases.
"I have suggested to Dikshit to directly involve the government machinery to make the purchases. After accounting for the transport cost, the Delhi administration may be able to sell onions to people at a price of Rs. 50/55 per kg (rate is hovering around Rs. 100 a kg in Delhi retail market)."
"If a truck carrying onions travels non-stop from here to Delhi, it will take only 24 hours to land the consignment in the national capital," said Chavan, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a function.