It takes two to tango. Already when fossil fuel prices are on fire, the steep rise in prices of vegetables have broken down the spine of the middle class in the State. The 'unholy' price rise seems to be hitting the man on the streets hard in the 'holy' month of Kartika.
Hindus consider the Kartika month very auspicious and during this month a majority stop taking non-vegetarian foods. With the demand for vegetables soaring a new high this time around the year, a short supply in the market has been the main reason behind the rise in prices every year, say market watchers.
But the price of veggies are so bullish this year, the lower and middle-income families are knocked down flat on the ground.
Name the vegetable, the rate chart is mindboggling. Vegetables used in Odia kitchen delicacies are being quoted at around Rs 60/Kg.
While the price of eggplant, tomato, ladies finger hovers in the range of Rs40-60 per Kg, the price of Pointed gourd (Potal) has hit the roof with a rate of Rs 80/Kg. Meanwhile, the price of beans and cowpeas (Jhudanga) per kilogram is above Rs 50. On the other hand, the price of Taro (Saru) and Yam (Mati Aloo) per kg is above Rs 40.
However, the price rate of cabbage quoted at Rs 25-35 per piece looks very modest.
Meanwhile, consumers are huffing and puffing over the skyrocketing of vegetable prices in the State, when the price of petrol and other essentials is burning a hole in their pockets.
"Incessant rainfall has dealt a blow to vegetable cultivation in Odisha. This has affected vegetable production. But demand for vegetables has increased with the start of Kartika month. Scarce supply has lit the fire in veggie prices in the regions with high demand," said Debendra Sahoo, Secretary of Chatra Bazar Byabasayi Sangha.