Over the past month, retail prices of onion have shot up almost three times from `30 a kg in the last week of July to `80-85 per kg on Monday in the city. Wholesale prices of onions has also trebled over the same period across the state.
Experts claim that the main reason for the sudden price hike has been the disruption in supply from Maharashtra, a state that is the highest supplier of onions in the country. Un-seasonal rain in past few days has spoiled the new crop of onion leading to a shortage.
During a visit to a wholesale mandi on the Sanaur road on Monday, the HT team found people buying the stock in limited quantity due to the high price.
Suman Sharma, a housewife, said, "Such rapid increase in the rate of onion is shocking. This increase has hit our budget and affected our lives. As onion is very essential ingredient in vegetable so we can't ignore it while buying the other vegetables. The government has to step in to control the price."
A teacher Rupinderjeet Kaur said, "In my residential area, the vendor is selling onion for `80 per kg. I decided to buy the vegetable from the wholesale market and find that there is not much of a price difference. Being a working class family, we are badly hit. The government should keep a vigil at hoarding to rein in the prices."
Harjinder Pal Singh, a resident, said, " At this rate, onions could well be a Raksha Bandhan gift. This is a annual routine and yet nothing seems to be done to prevent the prices from rising every year around the same time."
Interestingly, even retailers claim to be running into losses. Vinay Sharma, a retailer, said, "It has become very difficult to sell onions as customers are upset and buying smaller quantities. We don't want to sell onions at the high rates, but we have to sell it based on our cost." He claimed that it was unlikely that the rates would come down anytime soon. "Onions at `100 a kg is a possibility," he claimed.