ROURKELA:Ahead of Diwali, the price of onion has skyrocketed to `40 per kg in less than three weeks in Sundargarh district. The increase in onion price at the wholesale market in Nashik, Maharashtra, has apparently led to the hike in price here.
“The wholesale price of onion has jumped to `3,500 per quintal. It is being sold at a rate of `40 per kg in the city as 10 per cent of the total 50 kg onions in a gunny bag often get damaged,” a retailer, Harihar Barik, said. Three weeks back, onion was available for `20 per kg. Later, the price kept increasing by `4 to `5 every 4 to 5 days till it doubled, sources said.
The price wouldn’t turn moderate for one month, till the new onions hit the market. Even as the price has shot up, Rourkela city administration is yet to take any step towards moderating the hike.
“The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare (FS&CW) department sent instructions on Thursday evening to monitor the situation. The officials will start verification of stocks with local wholesalers from Friday onwards,” Rourkela-based Assistant Civil Supplies Officer (ACSO) and Market Intelligence Officer R C Tudu said. The ACSO, however, attributed the rise in onion price to hike in wholesale price at the source point in Nashik. “There is no shortage of onion supply,” Tudu added.
Meanwhile, locals have cut down on their onion consumption. “I have stopped using onions for all the dishes cooked in my home due to the price hike,” said Sangeeta Singh, a housewife.Earlier, the onion price had touched `28 per kg towards the end of July. The city administration had swung into action in the first week of August and sold onions at no-profit-no-loss basis at 37 fair price shops across Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) limits and captive township of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP).
The city’s daily requirement for onion is about 130 quintals. It has four to five big wholesalers and about six mid-size wholesalers, who, along with a dozen traders of Birmitrapur, Sundargarh, Rajgangpur, Lahunipara and Bisra across Sundargarh district procure bulk quantities of onion from Nasik.