Dimapur, August 7: Even as the purchasing power of most consumers in Dimapur have been largely affected with the prolonged lockdown in force in the State, the price of commodities in the market continue to rise without any proper regulations making most commodities out of reach for the common man.
The price of vegetables in Dimapur, otherwise one of the cheapest commodities in the market, has spiked to an unprecedented level in recent time with no proper reasons.
Authorities claim there is a decrease in production of local produce and with off seasons many vegetable item, such as tomatoes, are procured from outside the State and hence price of tomatoes has risen up to even Rs. 110 per kg in the retail market.
The Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) stipulated tomato wholesale rate was fixed at Rs 55 and retail at Rs 65 but it is openly sold at Rs 120 to Rs 110 in many roadside markets causing hardships to the common populace.
Some women purchasing vegetables from a road side market were seen having a heated argument with a vegetable vendor for selling tomatoes at Rs 90 per kg. But the vendor claimed that local tomato and many vegetables items don’t grow in Dimapur and “we are availing tomatoes from Shillong which is costly and so the rate is higher.”
With no work and sources of money dwindling, the common people here instead of buying two or three kilograms are frequently seen buying commodities in lesser quantities.
Talking to Nagaland Page, DMC Administrator Albert Ezung while confirming the rise in prices of vegetable items in Dimapur, claimed DMC officials daily inspects all the markets and many vegetable sellers have been penalized and their products seized for selling items at higher rate.
“Daily the rate chart is handed to Dimapur District GB’s Federation for disseminating to all the village councils for keeping a constant check on price rise in their respective village areas,” he said and assured that the DMC is working to keep prices of commodities stable.
He said people should immediately call up the DMC toll free number if any shopkeepers are found selling beyond the DMC rates, and added the information should be specific with address and any other proofs.
On vegetable prices soaring sky high, he said the local products are less and seasonal and so price fluctuates every day, while citing green chilli as an example which was Rs 100 per kilo today at whole sale rate and “tomorrow it may rise”.
But a member representing farmers who arrive early morning with their farm products to vegetable wholesalers market in MP road here said farmers from different villages are daily bringing in their products with a hope to earn profits but ends up losing.
“Wholesalers buy our products at the lowest rate and regularly farmers unable to sell their products rather sells off in bulks due to the fear of incurring further losses because vegetables are perishable products and it has to be disposed off,” he said
Highlighting the plights of local farmers, he said, “We are at the receiving end. Our products purchased from us by the wholesalers at Rs 7 to 10 per kilograms are sold in retail markets at Rs 30 to 45 and even Rs 70 ,” and added there is no mechanism to address our plights.
Another small time vegetable vendor defending himself when questioned about the rise of vegetables prices said, “We are purchasing from the wholesalers and here we are selling and hardly earn maximum Rs 10 as our profits.”
When queried why they are not strictly following the DMC rates, he replied, “Where is DMC, show me one staff of DMC checking the market and other areas where markets have been established on a temporary basis, no where will you find them.” (Page News Service)