Mumbai: High cost of common vegetables singes household budgets | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: The rising cost of common garden vegetables is burning a hole in the pocket of the average Mumbaikar even before the kitchen fires are lit. Once the pot is kept to boil, the spiralling rates of LPG and edible oil also combine to scorch the household budget.
Buyers in upscale Pali Market, Bandra, find ordinary lemons selling for Rs 20 apiece. “Chillies are at Rs 160-200 a kilo up from Rs 80-100 while unseasonal green peas is available for Rs 200,” said local vendor Jeetu Jaiswal of Jeetu Vegetables. “This price rise is the combined effect of summer scarcity, spoilage and high cost of transport.”
Citywide the mean rate of all vegetables has risen to Rs 80-120 per kilo as compared to the earlier average of Rs 60-80.
Raja Patil, a greengrocer in Khar Market, said, “The humble lemon which is selling for Rs 10-15 apiece, heads the list. Carrot has risen to Rs 80 per kilo from Rs 40-60 while french beans cost Rs 200 per kg, a straight mark-up of 100%. Small bunches of spinach and coriander are being sold for Rs 20 as compared to Rs 10.”
Another vendor Shravan Gupta who has inherited his father’s business at Khar Market said, “Summer always witnesses a shortage of good produce. For example, the light green ‘boiler’ french beans are yet to arrive in the market — so the existing stock has become costly. Demand is greater than supply.” Unlike vendors in other localities, Shravan still hands out expensive chillies as freebies to lure buyers.
Raja Patil endorsed that summer heat leads to shortage of output and spoilage. “But this year transportation costs have also risen sharply — by Rs 20 per sack — owing to the high price of diesel. Loaders are charging more too. Moreover, the scenario in the days and weeks ahead does not look too promising either, given that unseasonal rain has struck parts of Pune, Kolhapur and other growing areas of Maharashtra this past week.”
Fasting Muslims who are observing Ramzan must have fruit at the iftar table. “But bananas have shot up by Rs 10 per dozen over the past few days from Rs 50 to Rs 60. Green grapes were priced at Rs 100 per kilo last season, this year they cost Rs 120. A single small melon costs Rs 50 up from Rs 35 while an average 3 kg watermelon now sells for Rs 100 as compared to Rs 75 before the summer. Indigenous apples have soared to Rs 160-180 per kilo which is Rs 40 more than average. Iftar is a daily feat but by God’s grace we manage,” said Naeem Shaikh who shops at Four Bungalows market in Andheri.


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