Rising cost of vegetables has disrupted household budgets in the Capital. While experts maintain that prices of vegetables always rise around this time of the year, a jump of over 70% in prices from last year has broken all records.
In 2012, around this time of the year, prices of vegetables such as tomatoes and capsicum ranged between Rs 45 and Rs 55. This year, they range between Rs 80 and Rs 95.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), which procures the produce directly from farmers, said little could be done to control prices and people would just have to wait for the situation to stabilise.
“There is no mechanism to check prices as they are fixed solely on the basis of demand and supply. We can’t even control supply due to poor warehouse facilities. Also, commodities such as tomatoes and other vegetables are perishable and can’t be stored for more than two days,” said Bijender Singh, chairman, NAFED.
NAFED also said that the rise in prices was an annual factor and little could be done as the crops were at the mercy of the monsoon.
“This year, it is worse because of the disaster in Uttarakhand,” Singh added.
But it is the average Delhiite who is feeling the heat of this season-induced price rise.
In areas where residents have no access to wholesale mandis, there is no cap on the retail price of vegetables.
Bewildered by the steep rise, many are now demanding some form of government checks on prices.
“The situation is terrible. And when you have to cook for a large family, managing finances becomes extremely difficult.
Nobody ever intervenes to check these prices,” said Roopa Kaushal, a resident of east Delhi’s Nirman Vihar.