BHUBANESWAR: Make hay while the sun shines, goes the adage. In Bhubaneswar, the traders are making a killing out of the misery of people hit by monster cyclone Fani. As the Capital City retreated to darkness and struggled with drinking water supply, the demand for DG sets soared. And traders, needless to say, made brisk business.
Sample this: A trader in Cuttack-Puri road even sold a one KVA DG twice the market price. One KVA DG sets, with a market price of Rs 7,500 each, was sold roughly between Rs 11, 500 to Rs 14,500, while price of 3KVA DG sets with a market price of Rs 22,000 were being sold with a starting price of Rs 32,000. A trader who had 10 3KVA DG sets put all the sets to auction along Cuttack-Puri Road. Such was the greed feeding on opportunity to get rich.
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Despite high prices, there was a competition among people and other business vendors to purchase the generators. A man purchased one of those DG sets at Rs 52,000. The rush to purchase the DG sets was so high that it triggered a scuffle among buyers and police had to intervene. Traders, unable to control the rush, were even seen selling generators at their homes. The fact that a day after the cyclone hit the City, mercury was back to its scorching high was responsible for the demand. Also the fact that many residents use individual bore-well for domestic needs. With no power, they had no other option.
Similarly, price of batteries and inverters was equally high due to higher demand. A battery with a price tag of Rs 3,500 in market was being sold at Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000. Likewise, the price of a 1.2KVA inverter in Bhubaneswar on the day was Rs 18,500 against the factory price of Rs 13,500.
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If this was not enough, traders dealing with DG sets and water pumps on rent were charging roughly between Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 to households to fill water tanks. “The usual cost to use DG sets and water pump on rent to fill water tank is Rs 300 for two hours. However, we are being forced to pay through our nose in absence of any other options,” a local said.