Vegetable Prices See No Spurt - The New Indian Express

Vegetable Prices See No Spurt

Published: 25th December 2013 10:09 AM

Last Updated: 25th December 2013 10:09 AM

Even though the Christmas-New Year sales are at a high pitch, vegetable prices in city markets have dipped somewhat compared to the earlier weeks of December. But merchants in the Connemara (Palayam) and Chalai markets say that the low prices aren’t attracting customers.

The price of drumstick which had stood at Rs 75 a kilo in the third week of December has come down to Rs 60 and Rs 50 at the Palayam and Chalai markets respectively. However, the same vegetable costs Rs 100 and Rs 106 respectively at one of the hypermarkets that have sprung up in the city.

And even though the prices have come down in the ‘traditional’ markets, prices continue to be ‘on a high’ in these branded outlets, say customers. At the Palayam market, you can buy bitter gourd for Rs 30 per kg, but the same vegetable sells at Rs 45 in the hypermarkets.

And this Christmas season, vendors at the Palayam and Chalai lament that the customers have deserted them. According to them, customers prefer shopping in style at the branded outlets.

‘’We are selling vegetables at a reasonable price but as you can see, this market is almost deserted,’’ said 67-year-old Omana Amma, a vendor at the Palayam market.

Balan, who has been a wholesale dealer in the Chalai market for 39 years, has the same opinion. “We collect vegetables from Tirunelveli, Ooty and Oddanchathram in Tamil Nadu. The load reaches here around 4.30 am. They are more fresh than what you get in the upscale markets. The vegetables there are well-packed and kept in air-conditioned rooms and look fresh, but may not be good as in our markets,’’ he said.

V Ambili, a housewife residing at Manacaud, pointed out that in the conventional markets, you can buy vegetables for as low a price as Rs 10, which is not possible in many of the branded outlets where the vegetables are kept in one kg or two kg packets.

‘’We can buy vegetables both at wholesale and retail rates in the traditional markets. But in branded outlets they provide only per kilos and they are costly too. It is also fresh than in hyper markets, but we need to choose,’’ Ambili said.

“Though the prices are high here, we can buy everything at one place. It is less time-consuming and effortless. We also don’t have to quarrel with the merchants,” said Dhanya, an employee at Resurvey Department.

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