BERHAMPUR: With mercury level rising, watermelon, green coconut, sugarcane and ice apple are in great demand in the Silk City.The rising temperature has also increased the sale of beverages, ice cream, beer and popular Odia dish ‘pakhal’. Markets and restaurants are ready with fresh glass of ‘lassi’ and different types of ‘pakhal’ like ‘dahi pakhal’ and ‘chhunka pakhal’.
Health experts advocate that fruits, besides quenching thirst, also help in checking dehydration.
Dr Rajoo Dash, a senior physician, said watermelon and green coconut not only provide carbohydrates to the body, but also control body temperature during scorching summer. These are particularly good for gastric patients and are helpful in avoiding sunstrokes. Similarly, traditional drinks provide calories and fulfil the nutritive requirements of the body, he added.
Though traditional drinks are cheaper and healthier, people often prefer soft drinks. Beverage firms have been aggressively expanding their base in rural areas to increase sales. There is great demand for ‘pakhal’. ‘Pakhal’ is divided into two varieties - sajja (fresh) and bassi (stale). Some even don’t hesitate in mixing alcohol with ‘pakhal’, said Surendra Choudhury, a local. On the other hand, frequent power cut has made life miserable for residents. Nights have become unbearable with rising temperature coupled with power cuts.