Summer solace: A variety of fruits on sale at a market on Kutchery Road in Ranchi. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi, April 23: With the state capital reeling under severe heat wave conditions, residents have taken to eating fruits to stay cool.
Vendors selling watermelons, cucumber, tender coconut, bael, kakri and muskmelon have been doing brisk business with pedestrians buying them despite high prices.
“On an average we sell 2,000 watermelons a day as it is the most preferred fruit of this season,” said vendor Kamleshwar Prasad, who has a stall near Kutchery market. He added that the fruits came from Orissa and Bengal and were selling for Rs 12 per kg.
The popularity of cucumbers and kakri is no less, and they are selling for Rs 16 and Rs 20 per kg respectively.
“Our sales have soared with the rising temperature. We are selling 100kg of cucumber every day,” said vegetable seller Mukesh Kumar, adding that he is meeting the surging demand by purchasing from local haats like Mandar and Silli.
Said city executive Nitin Kumar, while sipping fresh coconut water at Kutchery Chowk on a hot summer afternoon: “Instead of sipping aerated drinks I prefer fresh nariyal pani as it is good for health.”
Good for health it may be, but tender coconut does not come cheap. They are now selling for Rs 20, instead of the earlier Rs 10.
“We have increased the rates due to high demand and less supply. Earlier we used to get one truck of coconuts everyday, but now the trucks are coming every two days from Bengal,” said roadside vendor Mauji Lal.
According to Lal, scanty rainfall and high demand in northern Indian cities like Delhi had dried up supply of coconuts to Jharkhand.
Doctors on their part have warned people to keep themselves hydrated to prevent heat strokes, cramps and exhaustion. City-based dietician Aradhana Kumar said fruit juices should be taken to maximise fluid intake.
“Watermelon is a must to keep the body temperature cool. Before coming out of the house one should drink plenty of water and nimbu paani. One should eat light food and include lots of salads in the daily diet,” Kumar said.