With the state enforcing strict lockdown from Monday, May 24, the vegetable prices have touched a new high with people scrambling to stock essentials in Tamil Nadu.
Most of the vegetables are sold for double or triple rates on Sunday as the state is bracing for total shutdown from Monday.
K.P. Ramaswamy, a retired professor who lives in Teynampet while speaking to IANS said, “We are pure vegetarians and I went to the market this morning to purchase and stock the necessary vegetables till the lockdown is lifted but prices are skyrocketing and they are charging double or even triple the normal amount. This is like looting the public and the government and corporation must take immediate action.”
Potato in the retail market at Pammal was sold at Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kilogram while its regular price in the same market is Rs 20 to Rs 25 rupees per kilogram. Beans are sold at Rs 150 which is double its normal price of Rs 70, ladyfinger at Rs 50-60 while normally it was priced at Rs 20 per kg and Onion at Rs 60 while its regular price is Rs 30 per kilogram.
In the big malls and air conditioned outlets, the vegetables are sold at four times the price with beans sold at Rs 290 per kilogram and carrot at Rs 190 which normally is sold at Rs 45 per kilogram.
Mohammed Ashir, an auto rickshaw driver from Valsaravakkam while speaking to IANS said, “I don’t know how we are going to manage. I cannot buy a week’s worth of vegetables at this price and naturally we will have to eat food without any vegetables.”
Social distancing has also taken a hit during the heavy rush in vegetable shops and people were seen removing their masks in shops.
Prakash Menon, a businessman from Ashok Nagar told IANS, “Social distancing has gone for a toss. People are crowding at all the vegetable and provision shops to stock for the lockdown and masks are not properly worn. I have stocked all the provisions and have ventured out to buy some vegetables, but in this heavy rush, I don’t want to buy and will adjust with whatever we have. Government has announced a lockdown to stop people coming in contact with each other, but here exactly opposite is happening.”