Prices of vegetables, fruits touches sky in B’pora

B’Pora : Consumers in north kashmir’s Bandipora district of Bandipora have expressed concern over rising prices of essential commodities in Kashmir and authorities are not taking any action to stop that.
While alleging the authorities of leaving them at the mercy of profiteers and hoarders, the consumers said, “Poultry dealers , shopkeepers and street vendors all are busy fleecing poor customers as there is no mechanism in place to curb overpricing.”
A consumer, Mohd. Ashraf, said that no shopkeeper or street vendor is bothered about complying with the rate list issued by CA&PD department. “The bananas are being sold at the asking price of Rs90-Rs150 a dozen,” he added.
He added that the retailers are not the only cause for the overpricing, but the wholesalers are the equal shareholders in the sky touching rates. He said that lockdown or no lockdown, consumers are always fleeced by retailers.
He said local bread makers and other retailers have increased the prices on their own whims and wishes with market checking squads seen invisible in the markets.
Locals further alleged that no essential commodity is being sold at the rates fixed by the government.
“The prices of essential commodities including fruits and vegetables have witnessed hike and common people are pushed to wall” said Hilal Ahmad.
As per the CAPD rate list, the price of potato has been fixed at Rs 18 (white potato) and Rs 22 per kilo gram (red potato), onions at Rs 22 per kg while the rate of tomatoes has been fixed at Rs 26 per kg. Among the traditional vegetables, the price of Saag has been fixed at Rs 40 per kg. Price of bananas as per their quality has been fixed at Rs 60 and Rs 70 per dozen. However the consum¬ers reasoned that these prices are rarely adhered to.However in different Bandipora markets, tomato is being sold at Rs 50-60 a kg, beans are sold at Rs 70, potatoes Rs 50 while chicken sells at 170-180 per kg.
The vegetable vendors have reasoned that due to the snowfall, the supply of vegeta¬bles has decreased resulting into the price hike. But consumers blamed the authorities for the price rise. We have no alterna¬tive but to purchase whatever prices the vegetables are avail¬able at, said Akaash Ahmad.
Mohammad Arif, a local said, that he was buying a tray of eggs containing two-and-half-dozen eggs at 150 rupees while yesterday the same cost him 175 rupees. There are no rate lists with the vegetable sellers. They have also hiked the pric¬es of locally grown vegetables like nadru, turnip, radish, etc. while the administration is passing the buck.
Local residents said that the government has failed to put in place market checking squads which was resulting into the hike in prices of essential com-modities.
The black marketing of the essential commodities is touching heights and people are made to suffer ruthlessly as authorities have failed to crack a whip against those who are found involved in black marketing in open, the government seems to have given an underhand approval to such a practice,” he addes.
Assistant Director Food Civil Supplies and COnsumer Affairs, Bandipora said that market checking is being conducted to curb overpricing. He said that joint teams have been formed to implement government rates and take action against violators. He urged locals to cooperate with the government by paying only governemnt prices and identify the violators so that action can be taken against them.

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