With the withdrawal of monsoons and the onset of the festive season, the demand for vegetables fruits and flowers see a manifold increase resulting in high prices.
The already high fuel and other costs are adding to this misery and forcing citizens to downsize on their festive plans.
While some citizens intend to cut back on their festive spends, others opt for cost effective and cheaper alternatives like the farmer’s market to source their daily produce.
Prakash Basak, a home tutor: A month back, I bought a dozen banana’s for Rs 20 and Rs 30, but now they reached the 50-rupee mark. Similarly, papaya, pineapples, apples, all have gone up.
The price at the ‘Mahatma Phule Mandai’ is a bit lower though. We normally shop for our entire puja articles from there, but it is not possible to go there every time to source fruits, vegetables and flowers needed for daily use and hence this is quite a dent on our budget.
They weekly farmer’s markets and the local suppliers are an alternate option which people should look at to save some money.
A fruit seller at Narayan Peth: We do not increase the prices ourselves; the transportation cost, supply of products and the quality of the product matters a lot in keeping the prices steady.
There are several fruit vendors selling low quality produce at various signals. You can buy from them, but if you are looking for good quality products you will have to spend more.
Today and tomorrow (for Navratri) people will buy at any price and some sellers tend to exploit this. The prices also vary according to the area of the city.
Jeenna Pal, a home maker: Expecting this situation, we had started cost cutting and reducing other expenses. I have made a list of only those products that have to be bought afresh. Items like decorations and lighting will be reused. The grains and pulses I will take to a mill and powder to save costs.
The entire process is time consuming and very hectic, but this is how a middle-class family working on a budget has to operate.
This year, I have decided to prepare all the ‘Prasad’ and ‘Bhog’ at home and avoid buying sweets and fruits. Additionally, we have shopped combining our Diwali requirements also so that it can be reused then.
Rakhi Manik, a boutique owner: We wait for Navaratri every year, as these ten days are special for us. Prices of the fruits and vegetables tend to go north during this time, because the trade knows that people will buy the necessary items that is needed for the ‘Puja’.
Even this year we had anticipated a 20% increase in our expenses for the celebrations over last year. But it is not just fruits and vegetables, the prices of flowers have also increased.
Other essential ‘Puja’ materials have also increased a bit. Overall, our expenses will surge, but we made provisions to deal with such a situation, and we will have to buy at whatever price it is available. The celebrations cannot be compromised with.
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