MALKANGIRI: Summer has made life miserable. Malkangiri town, in particular, has been experiencing temperature three to four degrees higher than usual in the last few years.
As mercury hovered around 43 degree Celsius on Saturday, people stopped by at different sugarcane kiosks which have popped up in every nook and corner of the town.
A glass of fresh sugarcane juice with a pinch of black salt and lemon is surely the best way to beat the heat and hydrate the body on a hot summer day.
A vendor, Madhu Biswas, said many passersby stop by her stall for a glass or two, while others take parcels. Madhu, a native of MV-11 village, said, “Earlier, I used to add pudina leaves in the mixture for flavour but not anymore as many want the juice in its original taste,” says 40-year-old Madhu, who has been in the business for five years. A glass of refreshing drink comes at `15.
“The stalks are bought from various parts of Malkangiri,” said Madhu, who purchases about 60 bundles for a week. “I am making a business of `3,000 to `4,000 in a day by selling sugarcane juice and other seasonal fruits, including watermelon. The rise in mercury has resulted in the rise of price of sugarcane juice and other seasonal fruits,” Madhu said.
The demand for other natural summer coolants too has seen a rise. Green coconut and watermelon too are flying off the shelves.
“I sell more than 150 green coconuts a day,” said Prashanjit Gain of MV-11, who sells green coconut on Malkangiri-Balimela road. Priced at `30 in the market against the `15 in other seasons, he has been raking in the moolah.
Watermelon, on the other hand, seems to be the most preferred seasonal fruit here. Makeshift stalls selling watermelon are doing brisk business. The fruit is being sold between `20 and `30 per kg.