Tomato, onion price spike pinches household budgets in Chandigarh
Rains in states supplying these vegetables, hoarding of stock to blame, say traders.
The soaring prices of tomatoes and onions have left a sour taste in residents’ mouths in the city.
While tomato prices have more than doubled in the past two weeks, onion — the other staple item in the menu of most of the households — has also seen around 50% price hike in this period.
Traders say incessant rains in states producing these vegetables have affected the crop, increasing the prices, which are now testing the patience of city residents.
“A couple of weeks ago, tomato was priced at Rs 35-40 per kg. The price has now skyrocketed to anywhere between Rs 80 and Rs 100,” said Deepak, a vegetable vendor at Sector 26. The wholesale price of tomato is Rs 50 per kg.
Meanwhile, onion, which was priced at Rs 30 per kg a couple of weeks ago, is now being sold for Rs 45 per kg in retail.
“There is apparent hoarding of the stock,” said Deepak. “It happens every now and then to increase the gap between demand and supply. Recently there were reports that raids were carried out in Nashik, Maharashtra, after which the supply was brought back on track.”
However, Deepak cautioned the onion prices are likely to rise further in the coming weeks.
Seeing the sudden hike in prices, which have hit the household budgets hard, residents have started buying lesser quantities of vegetables.
“We have stopped consuming tomato as it is being sold for Rs 100 per kg,” said Gopal Krishan, who came to buy vegetables at Sector 26. “The hike in onion prices has served another blow to the common man.”
“Such high prices of vegetables used in everyday cooking is a major concern,” said Rajeev Kumar, a resident of Sector 27. “The government should step in and take concrete steps to bring some relief.”
Meanwhile, green peas, too, have seen a steady rise in prices, being sold at Rs 100 - Rs120 per kg. Carrot is available for Rs 60 per kg.
“Prices of carrots and green peas will come down in the coming weeks as the local stock will also pour in. Till now, the prices are high due to the fresh stock coming in from other states,” said Sunil, a local vegetable vendor.