BENGALURU: Flood situation in Chennai has taken a toll on vegetable prices in Bengaluru. Some of the prices have doubled -- capsicum is now Rs 50 from Rs 25 and beans is at Rs 100/kg from Rs 60. Coriander leaves have shot up to Rs 60 a bundle from Rs 10 per bundle.
Suma, a housewife and vegetarian, expressed shock at the price rise. “I am not left with many options. Prices of pulses and other essentials have also gone up.”
Even retail vendors are taking a hit. Some of the smaller shops have been closed for the last two days. Shabir, who sells only vegetables, said that he may have to close down his shop if the situation worsens. “I run a small shop and have thin margins,” he said.
“The price rise is not because of crop loss from untimely rains,” said Assad Nawaz who has been running both wholesale and retail businesses for decades at the Russel Market.
Wholesale prices are also going up. “Since they get better prices in Chennai, the trucks are directly going there,” he said.
The city is facing the brunt of it all because it is the most accessible from Chennai. So some of the vendors from Chennai have been sourcing goods directly from different parts of Karnataka. “Usually, these groceries would land in our market,” said Nawaz.
Vendors also say that an artificial scarcity is being created by a few. The owner of a small shop in the market said that some others were hoarding vegetables to sell at a higher price to dealers from Chennai.
Anand, who has been a shopkeeper here for the past 20 years, said such instances of people trying to create an artificial demand is not new. “Somebody should put a stop to it,” he urged. Anand was worried about prices going up further.
A few vegetable vendors were prepared for this. Mahesh who runs a vegetable shop in Basaveshwara Nagar bought more than usual. “A sudden price hike like this one will affect smaller shops like mine, and my customers,” he said.