The delayed monsoon is pushing up not only temperatures but also vegetable prices.
As vegetable yields dwindle due to the heat, traders estimate a 25 per cent drop in supply compared to the same time last year.
Prices of items like cauliflower, peas, ladyfinger and bottle-gourd are already up by around 50 per cent at Azadpur Market.
“The effect will be felt in Delhi because it gets most of its vegetables from northern states,” said JK Bansal, chairman of Azadpur’s Agriculture Produce Markets Committee (APMC) that regulates wholesale trade in vegetables.
“We are getting around five trucks less per day compared with this time last year,” said Jai Kishan Saini of Azadpur Vegetable Traders’ Association.
The damage rate of harvest-ready vegetables is extremely high in North India during summer, compared to South or Coastal areas.
“This year, the damage has been more because the summer has been harsher and prolonged,” said Rajkumar Bhatia, general secretary of Azadpur APMC.
The fresh potato yield from Uttaranchal and Himachal, which feeds Delhi in June, July and August, is in danger too.
The price of green chillies from the Ambala-Ludhiana belt has risen the most — by almost 100 per cent.
“The quality of the vegetables is also not up to the mark, and the prices they are asking for are outrageous,” said Sudha Murthy (37), a housewife in RK Puram.