Report by Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri: The government may claim that Rice@ Rs.2 per kg scheme is enough for the people Below Poverty Line(BPL) but the people has got no respite from soaring vegetable and other food prices have badly hit the common men here. While weather related changes in availability and demand of vegetables is a regular affair, this time the sky-high increase in prices of vegetables has put both traders and consumers on the edge. Forget about the more fancy ‘paneer’or mushroom, even the humble potato, tomato and onion are inching away from the common men. Due to the scanty rains, vegetable prices in this tribal district have soared so much that it has become almost impossible for the poor people to buy any vegetables from the market.
Much to peoples’ dismay, the prices of vegetables like potato and onion, which is used in almost every meal, have increased over the last few days to as much as Rs.16 and Rs. 18 a kilo respectively here. The price of tomatoes, another veggie used regularly in meals, has similarly shot up to almost Rs.28 a kilo.Similarly, the price of garlic has gone up to 80 per kg. These two essential commodities are selling at Rs 8-10 a kg in the neighborhood market, whereas the average price of most of the green vegetables have shot up to over Rs 20 per kg. The price differential has forced many to eat more of onion and potatao and less no vegetables.
Besides, radish is selling at Rs.20 per kg,followed by carrot at Rs.40/-cabbage at Rs.20/-,cauliflower at Rs.40/-,bitter guard at Rs.30/ and beans at Rs.30 and brinjal at Rs.35/-.
The prices are simply impossible! After a lot of haggling, I bought a kilo of tomatoes today for Rs. 28 Earlier, with that amount I would have bought a whole lot of vegetables. But what option do I have? I have to feed my family, a rickshaw puller told this reporter. Since June, prices of most vegetables, specially greens, have been rising.
The prices of other grocery items are also sky high. Believe or not,’dal’ is also selling here at Rs. 90 per kg. You can cut down on other luxuries but how can you tell your child to eat less? We now have to make do with just one variety of vegetable in one meal and try and compensate that in the next. The government must do something about this, told a school teacher to this website.
The poor tribals residing in the remote and inaccessible pockets of the district are the worst sufferers who have been forced to take the bamboo shoot and locally available rainy season mushrooms due to sharp rise in the prices of the vegetables.