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Punjab, Haryana floods: Delhi’s fruit, vegetable prices spiral

New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Already reeling under the effects of the fuel price hike, Delhiites will now have to shell out extra for buying fruit and vegetables following floods in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, from where most of the supplies come.

The retail price of tomatoes has shot up from Rs.30 per kg to Rs.80 due to torrential rain affecting entire vegetable producing belt of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh. The price of potatoes, an essential item of Indian cuisine, has also reported a jump of Rs.5 in the past one week.

Prices of vegetables like cucumber, ladyfinger, cauliflower, beans and gourds have increased by 100 percent.

‘Prices of vegetables have gone up in the past few days. I am cooking more of dal (pulses), grams, rajma (red kedney beans) and preserved food products that comes within our budget. Having tomatoes at this point of time is completely unaffordable and on top of it they are of bad quality,’ said Savita Medhi, a homemaker.

People like Ram Singh, a construction worker, have cut down on green vegetables.

‘I cannot afford to cook vegetables three times a day. I have asked my wife to cook it only once and cook dal for the rest of the meals. Things are becoming difficult as prices of everything from public transport to fuel to cooking gas to other essential commodities are sky rocketing,’ said Ram, a father of four children.

According to vegetable suppliers, the supply is affected due to floods in Punjab and Haryana.

‘There was no supply due to floods and the sale also was less. In order to maintain their business, retailers increased the price,’ said Rajesh Kumar, a vegetable supplier in Azadpur Sabzi Mandi, one of Asia’s biggest vegetable markets.

Some stores like Big Apple are playing smart by keeping the prices slightly lower than the daily vegetable markets.

‘Our vegetable prices are slightly lower than other places. Tomato is just Rs.45 per kg, cauliflower at present is also Rs.45 per kg whereas outside it may cost up to Rs.60 per kg,’ said Manish, an employee at a retail chain outlet in Hudson Lane of north Delhi.

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