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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: At a time when Odisha is grappling with surging prices of onion, potato prices are threatening to spiral out of control registering a brisk surge in the past few days.

As per reports, the retail prices of potatoes at Chhatra Bazaar in Cuttack, which were at around Rs 18 to 20 a week back, have shot up to Rs 25 a kilo.

Expressing concerns, consumers termed the rise in prices of potato a double whammy.

"We can adjust without onions, but potatoes are like staples," said a resident of Cuttack, Haricharan Dash.
Traders attributed the rise in prices to the delay in the harvest of potatoes in source states. Similarly, the disruption of transportation of goods due to the ongoing protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in many states, including West Bengal, has also contributed to the rise.

Secretary of Chhatra Bazaar Traders' Association, Debendranath Sahu informed, "As potato crops were damaged due to rain in Nasik, it has led to the delay in harvest. Similarly, the ongoing protests in West Bengal are adding to the crisis. However, if weather remains favourable, new harvest will reach markets soon."

In Rourkela, potatoes that were being sold at Rs 20 per kilo two days back are now available for Rs 24- a kilo.

"We have cut down our potato purchase now as rates have gone up," said a Rourkela resident.

"The protests over CAA have affected transportation in the country and I think the issues will be resolved in a couple of days. We primarily depend on West Bengal for the supply. The prices of potatoes in West Bengal have also increased and I hope after fresh stocks arrive, the prices of potatoes will ease," said Secretary of Odisha Traders Association, Sudhakar Panda.

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