The Telegraph
Friday , October 19 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhog to pinch Puja palate

Be ready to shell out more for tasting that divine food without which the Puja platter is never complete.

Bhog, a must-have during Durga Puja, will be dearer this year, thanks to rising prices.

A majority of pandals of Jamshedpur has decided to increase prices of bhog coupons by at least Rs 10 in what they hope will help them recover the enormous expenses they are incurring in cooking the heavenly dishes of khichdi, vegetables and payesh.

“It is becoming extremely difficult to organise Durga Puja with every passing year. The expenditure always crosses our estimate. Whatever money we collect never meets our requirement and we have to shell out extra from our pockets. We have no option but to increase the bhog price by at least Rs 10 per coupon. However, we are yet to take a final call,” said Amit Carr, secretary of the New Farm Area Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee, Kadma. The coupons are likely to be sold at Rs 60 as compared to Rs 50 last year.

Sonari’s Tarun Sangha will also recover its cost this way and bhog will be a tad costlier at Rs 40 against last year’s Rs 30. Beldih Kalibari’s most sought-after bhog will pinch your palate at Rs 50 a plate. Sakchi Utkal Association Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee, on the other hand, will be charging the highest — Rs 60 per coupon.

“We could have managed if the quantity was less, but people wait throughout the year to relish bhog. We require quintals of foodgrains from Saptami to Ashtami,” said Tarachand Mohanty, secretary of the Sakchi Utkal Association Sarbajanin Durga Puja Committee and also president of Jamshedpur Durga Puja Kendriya Samiti.

The prices of almost all ingredients required for preparing bhog have skyrocketed.

If rice is expensive at Rs 50 a kg, pulses are costlier at Rs 75 per kg while sugar is available at a steep Rs 40 per kg. Milk costs Rs 30 a litre. Vegetables have also joined the price race — tomatoes cost Rs 30 per kg, potatoes Rs18 a kg and spinach Rs 80 a kg.

“Earthen pots too come for Rs 15 per kg against the earlier price of Rs 10,” said Rambabu Singh, president of Jamshedpur Durga Puja Kendriya Samiti.