People must lodge complaints against profiteers: Dir CA&PD
Post-floods in Kashmir prices of vegetables have skyrocketed. Not just the imported, even the locally grown vegetables are sold at steep prices.
Saag (a locally grown leafy vegetable) is presently being sold at Rs 70 per kg.
According to the consumers Saag, Kashmir’s popular vegetable, has seen huge price increase in the wake of floods that hit the Valley early last month.
As per vegetable sellers, Saag before September 7 (the day when floods hit Srinagar) was sold at Rs 20 to 30 a kg. “However, post-floods its price has soared by more than 300 percent and is currently sold at Rs 70 a kg.”
Notably, the price list issued by Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution department (CAPD) shows the price of the vegetable as Rs 30 a kg.
The consumers alleged that in absence of regular market checking by the CAPD, the vegetable sellers are taking them for a ride.
They said the other vegetable prices have also increased manifold. Currently a kg of tomato is being sold at Rs 40, onion at Rs 45, cauliflower and potato at Rs 40 each, Spinach Rs 50.
Interestingly, there is not so sharp an increase in the wholesale price of vegetables at Parimpora mandi here as compared to retail price. Potato wholesale price, for example, is Rs 30 per kg which is sold in the market at Rs 45 per kg.
The soaring prices are pinching the ordinary consumers most as the vegetables are used in every home.
“The people in Srinagar are already hit by floods and now this unprecedented rise in vegetable prices is badly affecting our daily budget,” Irshad Ahmad, a Srinagar resident said.
Women who are most annoyed by the soaring prices blame the CAPD for “failing to check over-charging and profiteering by the unprincipled traders.”
“It is loot! It seems our money has little worth to fetch anything,” Saleema, a housewife said.
However, the vegetable dealers cite floods as the reason for increase in the prices. “The floods caused huge damage to the vegetable gardens in Kashmir causing the shortage of saag and other vegetables and sending their prices up.”
President, Parimpora Fruit Dealers Association, Bashir Ahmad Basheer said that large vegetable gardens in Kashmir have been damaged by floods. “Our local production right now is quite thin. The vegetable gardens in Srinagar mostly remained submerged causing damage to the production. Only Chadoora, which is vegetable producing area, remained safe from the floods,” he said, adding that in this scenario the demand is more and supply less.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Director CAPD, Bilal Ahmad put the ball in the consumers’ court. “The problem is that people don’t register complaints against vendors selling vegetables at exorbitant rates,” he said.
“CAPD has issued rate list as per which vegetables vendors have to sell Saag at Rs 30 per kg,” Bilal explained, adding that whoever violates the rate list shall be dealt strictly provided the people cooperate with the department and identify the guilty traders.