Onions and potato may soon be available at subsidised rates at community centres, government office and even metro stations. The Delhi government, fearing an increase in the rates between July and September, is planning to sell the kitchen staple at places frequented by the common man.
The issue was discussed at a high-level meeting held recently to find ways to keep prices in check. “The issue was discussed at length. Vans through which subsidised onions are currently being sold do not reach to a large number of people and it costs a lot of money too. Thus, it was decided that government offices, community centres or other such places should be used for selling onions and potatoes,” said a senior Delhi government official
Delhi government officials said that all the assistant commissioners have been directed to identify at least 60 such premises in each district where stalls can be set up.
“We would need at least 30-40 square feet covered area that is easily visible and accessible to the people so that maximum number of people can use the facility,” added the officer.
Sources said the arrangement for selling onions and potatoes at the identified locations would be made by the Delhi Agriculture Marketing Board through wholesale traders of various markets.
The rising price of onions is a cause for concern for the BJP-led Centre. With no elected government in Delhi, rising onion prices can hurt the party’s prospects badly in case of a re-election.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had recently instructed the National Ag ricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited to purchase onions on behalf of Delhi government to build stocks. He had asked Safal to double the sale of onion and potatoes from 60 metric tonnes per day to 120 metric tonnes per day.
According to the L-G’s directions, traders of three mandis in Delhi--(APMC) Azadpur, Keshopur and Shahdara (Ghazipur)-- have been selling onions and potatoes at subsidised prices through 30 mobile vans in different parts of the city since June 20.