VIJAYAWADA: The district administration is facing a tough time supplying onions to rythu bazaars due to shortage of stocks.The Maharashtra variety of onion has completely vanished from the markets, forcing the people to contend themselves with stocks from Kurnool. What seems to be even more alarming, is the fact that the district is currently receiving 200 quintals of onion daily or half the usual supply. Of it, around 170 quintals go to Vijayawada.
In view of rising prices and non-availability of produce, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed the officials concerned to set up special stalls in rythu bazaars across the State and provide onions at a subsidised price of Rs 25 per kg. Between November 17 and December 1, as much as 2,76,375 kg onion was sold to customers.
However the sales at these stalls are limited to just few hours a day, from 9 am in the morning to 5 pm. In most of the rythu bazaars, the stocks are depleted by mid-day itself. Apart from the subsidy stalls, there is no regular stall of onions in the rythu bazaars. Speaking to TNIE, Joint Collector of Krishna district V Madhavi Latha said, "Across the State, onion produce has come down and due to lack of stocks the price is going up. In Krishna district across all rythu bazaars, we have set up special counters for distributing onions at a subsidised price of Rs 25 per kg. Though we are opening the stall at 9 am people are coming and forming queues from 7 am and demanding the stalls be opened. Once the crop in Kurnool gets harvested or if we manage to get enough produce from Maharashtra, the situation will come under control. As of this moment, we are unable to satisfy all customers due to heavy demand."
Onions were sold for Rs 42 per kg on Monday at the rythu bazaars' non-subsidy stalls while at retail markets they are priced anywhere between Rs 85 to Rs 100 per kg. Even in retail shops, the shopkeepers maintain they are unable to get good produce due to lack of stock.
"Not everyone can go to rythu bazaars for getting onions. Despite high prices people still visit retail shops. The problem is that there is no supply of onions to wholesale markets. Even if we manage to get some, the quality is very poor. People are reluctant to buy low quality produce at high prices," said N Bhaladev, a shopkeeper. Meanwhile, the district officials have instructed vigilance teams to take part in identifying hoarding points and take action against those who hoarding stocks to raise prices.