Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, May 27:
The prices of fruits have skyrocketed on the eve of ‘Sabitri Brata’ in the Odisha capital pinching a whole in the pocket of the common man.
While apples sold for above Rs 100 a kg in the city on Tuesday, the grapes were priced at Rs 180-200 per kg. Banana is being sold at Rs 80 to Rs 100 a dozen followed by lichee at Rs 80 a kg, orange at Rs 90-100 and pineapple at Rs 40. Similarly, while the price of jack fruit ranged from Rs 50 to Rs 200, depending on its quality and size, pomegranate was selling for Rs 160-180 a kg.
The price of mango, which was available at Rs 35 per kg only two days back, has nearly doubles notwithstanding the fact that this is the season of the king of fruits.
‘‘Earlier, we managed to get fruits by spending less than Rs 200. But this year, we have to spend double the amount. The prices of fruits have increased drastically since yesterday morning. The vendors are looting the customers. If it was not for the festival, I would have never bought fruits at these rates,” said Manoj Mishra, a resident of VSS Nagar.
On their part, fruit vendors blame short supply for the soaring prices. Surge in demand and limited supply are the two reasons cited by them for the escalating prices of the seasonal fruits.
The increased prices, however, have not stopped people from buying fruits ahead of the festival. “Since it is a ritual to offer fruits to the god during puja on this day, it is mandatory for all celebrating Sabitri Amabasya to buy some fruits. We are bound to purchase a variety of fruits and turn a blind eye to the increased price,” said Sumitra Das.
Married women, decked up in their finest clothes and jewelry, celebrate Sabitri Amabasya to ensure the long life of their husbands by fasting all day, eating only fruits, to appease Yamraj, the Hindu God of Death.