Continued rains in south India, high fuel cost, and disrupted supply have meant prices of several vegetables soaring high in Delhi, the most striking being that for capsicum which sold at Rs 100 per kg.
Tomato continued its high strides since the weekend while even the tender coconut prices shot up to Rs 65 per piece on Thursday.
In west Delhi, eggplant, cauliflower, and ladyfinger were sold at Rs 60 per kg, whereas tomato, taro root, and carrot were at Rs 80 per kg. But it was the capsicum that touched the sky.
After government intervention of sending buffer stocks to the open markets, onion rates climbed down to Rs 40 per kg, the same as potatoes.
Several other vegetables continued to be sold at cost lower than Rs 60 per kg. Bottle gourd and cucumber were at Rs 39, and pumpkin sat at the bottom of the table at Rs 29 per kg.
"There has been nearly 40 per cent increase in the price of the vegetables... The main reason behind the increase is the rising fuel rates which has in turn increased the vegetable rates," Ankit Kumar, a vendor at the Safal outlet at West Enclave, Pitampura, told IANS.
Several other vendors that IANS spoke with said the main reason was excessive rains that affected the supplies. Many of them also said that fuel cost added to the woes.
Buyers had mixed reactions.
"The amount of protein and other vegetable intake has increased and should be increased considering the Covid times. We should always consume healthy food, even if a little costly, which will help us fight this infectious virus," Naveen Pahwa, a 39-year-old dentist, said as he picked up vegetables at one of the vendors.
However, it is only the retail prices that were high and not the wholesale prices, indicating that it was the traders who benefitted at the cost of the common man.
At the Azadpur Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, the wholesale rates on Thursday stood as follows (all rates for per kg): onion Rs 20 to Rs 40; tomato Rs 12 to Rs 56, potato Rs 5 to Rs 11.25, brinjal Rs 10 to Rs 25, cauliflower Rs 10 to Rs 35, cabbage Rs 8 to Rs 22 and pumpkin Rs 5 to Rs 10.