Flowers get dearer as Navaratri  season begins

Prices of most varieties used in Dasra rituals have doubled
Vendors sorting out flowers near Poorna Market in Vizag on Saturday  | Express
Vendors sorting out flowers near Poorna Market in Vizag on Saturday | Express

VISAKHAPATNAM: Riding on the heavy demand, flower prices in the city markets are going through the roof this Dasara season.

Flower vendors say that the champak flowers which they used to buy at Rs 300 per 100 pieces from the Anandapuram wholesale markets just a week ago, now are available at Rs 500.

And the customers are bearing the brunt of it all. They are forced to pay thrice the normal price as flower is a must offering to the goddess during Navaratri.

Prices of most of the flowers used for worship have doubled for the vendors and when it comes to the customers the prices become tripled. Thanks to the demand.

“Before Navratri, champak flowers were sold for Rs 10 per six pieces in city markets and now three pieces cost Rs 20. Prices of marigold, chamomile and roses have also gone up,” says P Surya, a customer.

This pricey affair is not burning holes in the pockets of customers, but also resulting in losses for flower vendors.

“We come everyday with the hope of a good busienss as it is the festive season. Due to high prices, people are not buying flowers in large quantity. Being highly perishable, the unsold flowers incur heavy losses for us. I’m losing Rs 100 to 500 per day since the Navratri began,” says P Ravulamma, a flower vendor at Poorna Market.

However, the Durga pandals remain the saviours. “The pandals give us bulk orders. Since prices of most of the flowers have doubled, we suffer on profit margins,” explains Ravulamma.

The vendors buy a kg of rose for Rs 200 to Rs 250 and can hardly make a profit of Rs 20 on it.

“We make Rs 30 to 50 on a kg of jasmine which we buy for Rs 700 a kg. Earlier, we used to buy chamomile for Rs 150 from Anandapuram and now it costs Rs 300,” says another flower vendor from Poorna Market.

But, the customers have no other option.

“We have to buy flowers irrespective of the price as puja can not be performed without it. A garland of marigold used to cost for Rs 10 to 15 before Navaratri and now, the vendors charge Rs 25 for the same. So, I go for less quantity,” says Amit Shukla, a customer at Poorna Market.

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