The unusual surge in the price of onions has hit people hard, not just consumers but also retailers and wholesalers across the country, but a few states in particular which have it worse than others. West Bengal is one of those states where the price of onions has crossed the century mark in several areas.
In Howrah, while some shopkeepers are selling onions at Rs 150 per kg, others are selling them at Rs 120 to Rs 130 per kg.
“Onions are available but I have only bought 250 grams. Most of the onions, which are worth Rs 120, are rotten. There was a time when we used to have a meal with an onion but now we can’t even think about it. Either the state government or the central government has to take responsibility and help us out,” said a local resident, Barun Kumar Barikdar.
A shopkeeper, Swapan Malakar said, “I don’t know the reason for the price hike of onions. The wholesalers are not willing to talk about it. I bought one sack of onions for Rs 4,200”
“I have stopped selling onions because of the price hike of onions right now. The price of the whole sale market has also increased to Rs 550- Rs 650. This has left us in loss,” said another shopkeeper, Ajit Kumar Shaw.
A similar situation is persisting in the North and South 24 Parganas, Asansol districts as well.
“I have bought onions at the price of Rs 120/kg. We can’t afford it. Earlier we used to buy 770 grams of onions but now it has reduced to 250 grams,” said a consumer from North 24 Parganas, Kashinath Das.
Meanwhile, Tapan Das, a vegetable seller from North 24 Parganas said, “We have stopped selling onions. Now, onions are being sold at Rs 140/kg. Different shops are selling at a different price range, so people have started quarrelling with us. We don’t want to create a brawl with the customers, so we have stopped selling.”
“As the price range of onions is at a peak, we cannot afford to sell in the market. We are not earning a profit,” said another vegetable seller from South 24 Parganas.
“I haven’t bought onions as it has increased up to Rs 120/kg. We have to have our meals without onions,” said a consumer from Asansol.
However, in east Burdwan district, the price of onions is comparatively less at about Rs 90 a kilo.
This persistent hike in the price of onions has become the cause of worry for both the consumers and vegetable sellers.
This crisis is persisting because of the damage to onions due to floods in prime onion-manufacturing states like Maharashtra and Karnataka.