Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 21:
After skyrocketing prices of arhar dal, prices of kitchen essential onion today crossed Rs 50 at most places in Odisha making a simple meal of rice, dal and onion unaffordable for the ordinary citizens of the state.
While the price of arhar dal still lies above Rs 150, the price of onion hovered around Rs 50-60 in most parts of the state. The sudden rise is being blamed on transport and supply issues.
“The price rise of course hurts. The least you need in a meal is dal and onion. If the prices of both the commodities increase manifold, it obviously makes life difficult. I am finding it hard to pay for them and it’s worrisome to think about others who are poorer,” said Jayant Sahu, a shopkeeper of Unit-I market of Bhubaneswar.
The reactions were pretty much same from consumers as well.
“Dal and onion are things one can’t avoid. We can manage and avoid if the price of some vegetable goes up, but how can one cook without using onions?” wondered Sanghamitra Dash, a housewife.
Officials are expressing their inability to regulate the prices citing shortfall in supply from onion hubs such as Bangalore and Nasik. The traders attribute the steep price rise to reduced production and higher demand at Nasik.
“Last year’s stock of onions is about to run out. To make things worse, there is reduced production and higher demand of onions this year in Nasik. Things can only change after this year’s produce hits the market. We don’t have a choice but to wait,” said Debendra Pradhan, an Odisha Merchants Association official.
“We are trying to protect the interest of our consumers as much as we can. However, given that we are buying the goods at a higher price; we have to sell it at a higher price too. We are sort of helpless given the price hike at the source,” said Sudhakar Panda, the secretary of Odisha Byabasayi Sangha.