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Trucks on poll duty, veggies turn pricey

The elections have heralded poor business for the trader community in Patna.

Owing to requisition of vehicles for election duty and trouble in transport services in general, a large number of traders are of the view that demand and supply sides have suffered a blow since March 5, when the model code of conduct came into effect. Patna district transport officer Dinesh Kumar Rai said around 7,000 vehicles would be required for poll purposes in Patna district of which 5,000 were requisitioned till Sunday.

The poll heat because of requisition of vehicles is also burning holes in the pockets of residents.

Vegetable prices have gone north owing to the requisition of commercial vehicles, including trucks, which are used for transporting vegetables almost on a daily basis. Mini trucks and tempos used in bringing vegetables from places such as Biharsharif and the riverine belts are being pressed into service for ferrying security forces and officials on election duty as well as poll-related materials.

As a result, ladyfinger selling at the rate of Rs 30/kg a month ago now costs Rs 50/kg. Similarly, the pointed gourd costing Rs 35 before the model code of conduct was made effective now costs Rs 60/kg. Fruit prices have also witnessed a similar surge.

“The number of trucks coming to the wholesale market here has reduced considerably. The administrative personnel are stopping vehicles midway and taking those over for poll duty,” said Sartaj Hussain, a wholesaler of fruits at Bazaar Samiti.