VIJAYAWADA: The Krishna Pushkarams festival in Vijayawada has been the cause of vegetable prices soaring as demand outstrips supply.
Potatoes and tomatoes were scarce in the wholesale markets on Tuesday, while retail outlets and roadside vendors were selling them at an extra ` 8-10 per kg.
“The Rajiv Gandhi Vegetable Market will be closed during Pushkarams. Moreover, since it is located on the canal bund and restrictions have been imposed on vehicle movement in the area, even if the wholesale market is kept open it will not be accessible. The local vendors are sourcing the vegetable from other areas and hence, the increase in prices coupled with the shortage of vegetables,” said K Sivashankar, a roadside vegetable vendor in Satyana rayanapuram.
Out of fear, people are hoarding veggies in large quantities for the next 12 days. “Even if vegetables arrive tomorrow, the cost may touch the sky. So, we are buying and stocking them for the next fortnight,” explained P Sirisha of Ayodhya Nagar.
However, the marketing officials in Krishna district say there is no need to worry. “We decided to open rythu bazaars in the city, round-the-clock during Krishna Pushkarams. We are also operating as many as 20 mobile rythu bazaars in areas that are at considerable distance from the nearest rythu bazaar,” said J Ravi Kumar, assistant director of marketing.
There are six rythu bazaars in the city including the one at Ibrahimpatnam and running them round-the-clock will certainly help. When pointed out that potatoes, tomatoes and onions are not grown in Vijayawada region and have to be imported from other parts, the official said they have made alternate arrangements even though restrictions on vehicles have been imposed in Vijayawada.
“The government itself will supply potatoes, onions and tomatoes to rythu bazaars during Pushkarams. Potatoes are being imported from Agra and Indore, onions from Maharashtra and tomatoes from Madanapalle in Chittoor district,” said Ramesh Babu, officer in-charge of Swaraj Maidan Rythu Bazaar but public, continues to be apprehensive.