New Delhi: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, as there is a saying! But what can you do when buying lemons becomes a task in itself? The rise in fuel prices has pushed up the prices of vegetables and lemon in particular has become a valuable commodity.
With the arrival of the summer season, the prices of lemons are skyrocketing in the last one week and a lemon is being sold for Rs 10 in Hyderabad city. Vendors expressed concern over the rising price of lemons saying that consumers are not ready to buy the citrus fruit at such a high price. “The prices have gone really high. Earlier, we used to buy a whole sack of lemon for Rs 700 which now costs Rs 3,500. We are selling a lemon for Rs 10 and no one is ready to buy it. No one is ready to believe that the prices have gone up and going without buying lemons,” Venkatesh the roadside vendor told ANI.
Another retailer Lakshmi said she is currently buying a whole bag of lemons for Rs 3,000. “I have bought the whole bag for Rs 3,000 and a dozen is selling for Rs 120 but no one is ready to buy. Green lemons may still sell after two days but yellow ones need to be sold immediately as they tend to rot. No one is buying lemon at such a high price,” said Lakshmi.
Customers say the rising cost is burning a hole in their pockets. Tarannum, a customer, said, “The prices are too high. I bought a dozen lemons for Rs 120. Earlier, I used to buy them for Rs 20. The prices are increasing due to the summer season.”
Meanwhile, Surat in Gujarat has also seen a rise in lemon prices due to short supply and high demand during summers. A vegetable wholesaler said, “There has been a steep rise in the price of lemons due to heavy damage to lemon plants during cyclones in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat last year.”
Vegetables and fruits become expensive due to increase in fuel prices in Haridwar in Uttarakhand, the prices of almost all vegetables have increased, lemon is selling at Rs 200-250 per kg and gourd is selling at Rs 30-35 per kg. in the mandi,” said a vegetable vendor.
Vegetable prices in Delhi and adjoining areas have increased due to increase in transportation cost as a result of hike in fuel prices, causing inconvenience to the customers as well as the vendors. Tomato is now selling at Rs 40 a kg, whereas earlier the price was between Rs 25 and Rs 30. Bottle gourd is now selling at Rs 40 per kg. Even the price of potatoes has gone up. Now it is available at Rs.25 per kg. Earlier it was sold at Rs 10 per kg,” said Dharmendra Singh, a vegetable vendor in Lajpat Nagar.
“Now we do not give green chillies to the customers for free. Lemon is available in the market for Rs 350 a kg, that is, not a single one will be available for 10 rupees. Capsicum is 100 rupees per kg. Then the customers bargain. They know. That the prices have gone up, but still they ask for chillies for free,” said Akhilesh, another vendor.