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City wilts as fuel turns greens pricey!

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 00:15 IST

VEGETABLE PRICES have upset every household budget with people wondering how Rs 3 per litre rise in diesel prices can throw tomatoes up by Rs 30 a kilo!

And that’s not just tomatoes. Parval which  sold at Rs 12 a kilo a fortnight ago is staring at housewives with Rs 20 per kg. Onion is dearer by Rs 4 kg and  potatoes are bouncing up by Rs 3 to Rs 4 per kg.

A wholesaler Kamaruddin of Dubagga vegetable mandi says,“The transporters have increased the freight charges and it has direct impact on the transportation of vegetable from rural areas to the cities”, he said.

The Internet betting on the rates of vegetables and food items is also responsible for the price hike. During summer, the production of vegetables comes down triggering a price hike,” Kamaruddin says and adds, “ In Lucknow we get tomatoes from Uttaranchal, onions from Nasik, potatoes from nearby districts, rarely any vegetable is produced locally. And that’s the reason of price hike.”

Atma Singh, another wholeseller of   vegetables in the city says, “This year people have started feeling the effect of contract farming and Internet selling of vegetables. The big companies are buying potatoes for chips, tomatoes for purrie and onions for the storage. Through Internet betting, the farmer is lured into selling his product on the future rates. All these factors are causing the suffering for the common man. On the other hand the heavy rainfall in East UP inundated the agriculture field and a large quantity of vegetable perished in the field.

While vegetables prices are shooting up the king of fruits, mango has maintained a decent price range (Rs 12 to 20) through out the season. The dealers say the rates of mango never shot up due to the good production and lesser domestic export in the other parts of India. In addition to that the mango farmers have learnt the art of preserving the mangoes for more than 20 days, which was not possible few days ago. With the increase in storage period the loss has decreased hence the cost has came down. But on Thursday mango got stronger by Rs 3 it was selling between Rs 16 to 20 in the mango mandi in front of Shaheed Smarak.