DHENKANAL: The holy month of Kartik has just begun and prices of vegetables have already shot up, raising concerns among the vegetarians. In the last five days price of potato has gone up by Rs two to touch Rs 22. While cucumber costs Rs 40 a kg, onion is up by Rs four to cost Rs 22, tomato is priced at Rs 35 from the earlier Rs 30 and ladyfinger is selling for Rs 40 and cauliflower is priced between Rs 20 and Rs 25.
Banking in on the religious sentiments of the people are dalals who have started hoarding. A farmer of Sankarpur Basanta Sahoo alleged that they earn little as dalals detain them on way to Dhenkanal markets and buy the produce from them at cheaper prices. Farmers from Sankarpur, Tarava, Gondia and Dinabandhupur and other pockets of Sadar block bring their produce to the town’s market while potato is imported from West Bengal and Onions from Nasik.
Civil Supply Officer Hadibandhu Sethy said, “We have conducted a meeting with traders and asked them to keep price of onion and potato stable in daily sample study. We have started conducting survey from Tuesday. The department, however, has no hold or authority in enforcing price of vegetables except potato, onion and dal, he added.
During Laxmi Puja, the demand for potato and onion increases manifold as more fast food stalls come up at this time. As many as 200 gupchup vendors from Bihar have opened their stalls and each vendor purchases a minimum of 50 kg potato a day, informed one of the kiosk owners in Ganesh Bazaar. Locals have demanded the intervention of the Government or district administration to check the prices from going beyond the reach of common man.