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    Vegetable prices shooting up

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though the north-east monsoon has been offering a relief from the scorching sun, the sky-rocketing prices of vegetables this season are making buyers perspire as if in sweltering heat. The heavy downpour in Tamil Nadu is being blamed for the phenomenon.The prices of essential vegetables such as tomato and big onion are enough to burn a hole in the pockets of buyers. While Horticorp provides one kilogram of tomato for Rs 30, it goes up to Rs 35 in the open market. Onion, which is in high demand as the festive season of Bakrid is approaching, costs Rs 18 to Rs 20 now. It was being sold for Rs 12 to Rs 14 per kilo a week ago. The Chalai market, which is the last resort of a laymen, sells vegetables such as lady’s finger for Rs 20, cauliflower for Rs 32 and beans for Rs 35 per kg. The price of potato has doubled in a week’s time. It has made a giant leap from Rs 10 per kilogram to Rs 20. But if the costumer is satisfied with the potato from Karnataka, then it would be available for Rs 15. But the vegetable vendors call the price rise an unintentional phenomenon. According to Jayakumar of KSV Vegetables of Chalai market, “When the demand is abundant and supply short, an increase in price happens naturally. Customers who urgently need a vegetable would be willing to pay any price for it.”He also said that a major portion of the vegetables that have been arriving here after the downpour in Tamil Nadu was either damaged or even rotten. Though Horticorp has been a great boon for those who buy vegetables, it too could not bridle the price of certain items such as tomato, long beans and brinjal. Compared to just 10 days ago, these vegetables have seen a marked price rise of Rs 8, Rs 6 and Rs 4 respectively.While prices have been rising for most vegetables, there has been a decrease in the prices of certain other vegetables. Beans, ivy gourd and capsicum now cost lesser than about a week ago.Says Thankam A from Vattiyoorkavu, who buys vegetables from a Horticorp stall in the city: “Price rise has definitely hit my monthly budget. As we cannot starve, I have cut my daily menu until there is a fall in the prices of vegetables.”