VIJAYAWADA: With the State government giving directions to lockdown the city till March 31, all vegetable markets in the city witnessed heavy rush from the early hours of Monday as the public made bulk purchases for the next fortnight.
Prices of all the vegetables, including tomato, brinjal, lady’s finger, carrot, potato, cabbage and coccinia grandis have gone up by Rs 4 to Rs 5 per kg on each variety at rythu bazars at Swaraj Maidan, Kedareswarapeta, Patamata, Payakapuram and Bhavanipuram, when compared to last Monday (March 16). While in the retail markets, the prices of vegetables increased by Rs 6 to Rs 7 per kg.
“‘There is panic among all the residents following the government orders for lockdown in the city. With uncertainty prevailing, I have purchased a few varieties of vegetables for a week,” said P Vijayalakshmi, a homemaker. She further said that the increase in demand for vegetables has resulted in price rise.
The officials concerned should make arrangements for procuring enough vegetable stocks and provide them at a reasonable price. A few denizens entered into heated arguments with the traders over the price hike. With the situation going out of hand near a few stalls, police personnel were deployed to control the situation.
“The price hike will continue for another week as the government suspended transportation till month-end,” traders said. Till then people have to bear the brunt of exorbitant prices. As per the price list in rythu bazar at Swaraj Maidan, tomatoes are available for Rs 16 per kg, while brinjal and lady’s finger are sold for Rs 16 and Rs 22 per kg, respectively.
Potato is priced at Rs 24 per kg, while coccinia grandis is available for Rs 18 per kg. Only cabbage is sold for Rs 12 per kg giving a sigh of relief to customers. Ginger has become dearer with Rs 70 per kg, while onions are sold at Rs 25 per kg.
Speaking to TNIE, Swaraj Maidan Rythu Bazar Estate Officer K Chandra Mohan said that vegetables are procured on a daily basis from the farmers in Krishna and Guntur districts. When asked why the vegetable prices were high when compared to previous week, he maintained that usually public throng the rythu bazar in large numbers on Sunday. With Janata Curfew falling on Sunday, large number of people visited the market on Monday. We are taking steps to stabilise the prices,” he said.
Rythu bazars to be shifted
The district administration has taken a decision to avoid huge congregations and shift the rythu bazars at Swaraj Maidan to Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium, Patamata rythu bazar to municipal corporation high school in the same locality and Kedareswarapet rythu bazar to Gandhi Municipal School, One Town