Wholesalers blame decrease in supply for hike, while customers say vendors continue overcharging.
First it was too little rain, and now it is too much rainfall that is pushing up vegetable prices in the open market
Over the past few weeks, the prices had come down marginally after supply from the other states had improved.
"Till recently, green leafy vegetables were available for moderate price such as Rs10 to Rs15 a bundle.
Even prices of cabbage, cauliflower, and cucumber had become stable, but after the recent rainfall, prices have again increased," said Anuradha Deshpande, member of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP).
Consumers, however, complained that prices in the open market were hiked irrespective of whether it rained or not.
"The vegetables that mainly get affected during the monsoon are tomatoes, coriander, spinach, methi, bhendi, cauliflower and cabbage. But vendors hike prices of almost all vegetables," said Sakshi Desai, Bandra resident.
Wholesale traders attributed the sudden increase to shortage of supply.
"Last week, for two continuous days [August 2 and 3] 393 and 409 vehicles, respectively, arrived in the market. Our requirement is above 450 vehicles each day.
This resulted in increase in rates of most vegetables," said Mahesh Ramdas Gupta, a wholesale trader from APMC.
Gupta, however, claimed that the supply had normalised and 497 vehicles had come to the market on Tuesday.
In an attempt to control steep increase in vegetable prices in the open market, the state government had set up 106 centres, where greens are available at wholesale rates.
However, the move hardly made any difference as local vendors continued to sell at high rates.
As a result, customers thronged the government centres, which sold over 15 tonnes of vegetables on Tuesday.
“Demand at our centres continue to be high irrespective of whether the retail rates have reduced or not," said senior official from agriculture and marketing department, requesting anonymity.