Tall claims of the Sambalpur Municipality of checking spiralling prices of vegetables have fallen flat.
In a bid to contain the skyrocketing prices of vegetables, the Municipality had convened a meeting of vegetable wholesalers on July 18 which was attended by Chairperson of the Municipality Kalpana Sahu, the then Sadar Sub-Collector Rainu Singh and Executive Officer of the Municipality Annirudha Pradhan. After discussion with the traders, it was resolved that they would sell vegetables with marginal profit. Although prices of the vegetables dipped for a couple of days, those have soared again.
At present, pointed gourd is sold at Rs 40 per kg, tomato at Rs 30 per kg, lady’s finger and brinjal at Rs 40 per kg. Similarly, drumsticks are priced at Rs 80 per kg, bitter gourd and carrots are available at Rs 40 per kg, capsicum Rs 100 a kg, cabbage Rs 30 per kg and cauliflower Rs 60 a kg. Mushrooms are the costliest at Rs 200 a kg, while spine gourd is priced at Rs 80 a kg. Onions are selling at Rs 50 per kg.
The cheapest vegetables available in the market are bottle gourd and papaya which are selling at Rs 20 and Rs 24 a kg respectively.
Sources said as vegetables are rotting fast due to the rain, wholesalers and retailers are selling them at a high margin to compensate for the loss. On the other hand, vegetable vendors said as it is ‘Shravana’ month of Odia calendar, consumption of vegetables has increased resulting in price hike. “Once the month ends on August 21, prices will come down,” he said.
Vice-Chairman of Sambalpur Municipality Siddharth Saha admitted the failure of the civic body’s initiative to keep vegetable prices under control. Accusing the wholesalers of going back on their words of selling vegetables with marginal profit, he said the Municipality failed in enforcement. He, however, assured of looking into the issue once again. “If required, we will approach the district administration to intervene,” he said.