Overcharging by roadside vendors burning holes in Chandigarh residents’ pockets
With apni mandis closed, residents say they are forced to rely on roadside vendors and those who have set up temporary stalls. But, their prices are not being monitored.Updated: Oct 30, 2020, 01:35 IST
Already reeling under exorbitant prices of onions, Chandigarh residents allege roadside vendors are overcharging for other vegetables as well in the absence of a check on their pricelist.
With apni mandis closed, residents say they are forced to rely on roadside vendors and those who have set up temporary stalls. But, their prices are not being monitored.
On Thursday, HT found that capsicum and tomatoes were the most overpriced. Vendors in Sectors 18, 19, 35, 46 and 48 were found selling capsicum for Rs 120 a kg against market committee’s price of Rs 70 per kg, while tomatoes, priced at Rs 55 per kg, were being sold for Rs 70 per kg.
Locally grown vegetables like bottlegourd and cucumber mostly had the same rates.
When questioned, Guddu a vendor in Sector 18, said, “We buy up to 25kg vegetables in wholesale, but around 2kg gets crushed under their weight, so we have to adjust the cost to curtail the losses. Softer vegetables like tomatoes and capsicum are more prone to this, hence more expensive rates.”
Some residents alleged that even though vendors, who had been allotted space to set up stalls, charged fairer rates, those trading through carts fleeced them the most.
“Even though the quality of vegetables was poor, I was charged Rs 80 per kg for onions and Rs 65 per kg for potatoes. I’m a senior citizen and don’t mind paying a little extra to have vegetables delivered to my house, but vendors make the most of residents not having other options,” said Nirmal Singh, president of the Sector 38-D Resident Welfare Association (RWA).
Administrator of the Chandigarh Market Committee, Nazuk Kumar said she will look into the matter.
Meanwhile, members of the Chandigarh Resident Associations Welfare Federation (CRAWFED) said it was high time this practice was reined in.
“Every week we get complaints of fleecing from various RWAs of the city. We will be holding a meeting on November 1, where overcharging for vegetables will be one of the top agendas to be discussed,” said CRAWFED chairman Hitesh Puri.
Onion prices drop slightly
Meanwhile, from Rs 75 for a kg last week, onion prices have reduced to Rs 65 a kg.
The rates decreased slightly with improvement in supply from Maharashtra, but will remain on the higher side till the end of November, officials at the Sector 26 vegetable market said.
Meanwhile onions from Afghanistan have also started coming in. “We got two truckloads on Thursday, which were sold at a wholesale price of Rs 25 per kg,” the officials said.
Potato rates have also dropped from Rs 55 to Rs 45 per kg with the usual supply from Himachal Pradesh improving. Along with these, locally grown potatoes, which are of better quality, are also being supplied.
DISPARITY IN PRICES
Rates of various vegetables (per kg) as found on Thursday
Vegetable Market committee Vendor
Capsicum Rs 70 Rs 120
Tomato Rs 55 Rs 70
Onion Rs 65 Rs 70
Potato Rs 45 Rs 55