| Residents buy onions at Anta Ghat on Tuesday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Homemaker Shamima Khatun and her husband S.J. Khan, out on Tuesday morning to hunt for cheap onions, found the mission impossible to accomplish.
The R-Block couple could not find any vendor selling cheap onions and were finally forced to buy some green vegetables instead. “I searched the entire market but everywhere onions were selling not below Rs 80-90. Even apples were available at Rs 60 a kg,” said Shamima, who had come to buy vegetables at Anta Ghat.
“I had to remain content with 500gm pointed gourd (Rs 60 per kg), 500gm lady’s finger (Rs 50 per kg) and 500gm tomato (Rs 65 per kg). Prices of other vegetables have also shot up in the past few days. Because of skyrocketing prices of onions, homemakers like me would definitely avoid buying it as long as they can. But they would have to spend more hours in kitchen thinking of recipes minus onions,” added Khatun.
The common refrain among most shoppers at Anta Ghat was that onions, which were priced at Rs 50-55 last week, were now available at Rs 80-90.
Residents of upscale localities such as Boring Road have to bear the brunt of the escalating onion prices. In the retail market on Boring Road, it was priced at Rs 100 per kg on Monday.
Asked the reason for sudden escalation in onion prices, Parvesh Kumar, a vendor at Mithapur Mandi, said: “The second onion harvest in Nashik has been bad this year. Moreover, around 50 per cent kept in cold storages has rotten. Also, the new no-entry rules near Mithapur Mandi force every truck driver to pay at least Rs 20-25 bribe to the traffic police. So, Nashik onions have become dearer,” said Parvesh, adding: “Only 10 per cent stock of local onions is available in the market, compounding the problem.”
Parvesh, however, had some good news: “Till Diwali, onion prices would stay the same. Thereafter, the new stocks from Nashik would arrive and prices would drop.”
“The new harvest from Alwar (Rajasthan) and Gujarat among other states is expected to reach their respective destinations shortly. This will reduce the pressure from the Nasik supply line, which is the main supplier to all the states and, the onion prices would dip,” added Sarvesh.