Jamshedpur, Nov. 14: Prices of fruits and other offerings in the city have sky rocketed in the wake of Chhath Puja celebrations.
The “duara” and “kalsup” (traditional wooden baskets) that are used by devotees to make the offerings to the sun god are also costing much more than last year. Most devotees feel they will be forced to cut down on the festive budget.
Fruit prices have gone up by almost 10 to 15 per cent. Bananas, which are the most sacred offerings, are also coming for a high price, and so are pomegranates.
Come festivals and prices of vegetables and fruits start soaring. And this Chhath is no exception. As if the increased petroleum prices were not enough to dampen the festival spirit, prices of vegetables and fruits are likely to double in this weekend. Since non-vegetarian items are a strict no-no in most of the Hindu families during Chhath, vegetables are in high demand and low supply.
Devotees of the Sun God will feel the pinch this year as they visit markets to buy the necessities for the Chhath rituals.
A fruit seller at Sakchi said, “The frequent petrol and diesel price hike has increased the transportation cost leading to hike in vegetable and fruits prices.”
The prices of vegetables are likely to go north, the day of ‘Nahai Khai’. Pumpkin is an important vegetable on that day. Selling at Rs 50 per kg on normal days, its price can increase manifold depending on the demand. “Usually we sell it at almost twice or thrice the existing price. This year would be no different,” said Hareshwar Yadav, a vegetable vendor.
The rising prices of commodities, which are expected to go north as Chhath comes near, transportation costs and demand will make the residents loosen their purse strings. Prices of the most commonly used items during Chhath, especially soop and daura (bamboo basket), are almost 50 per cent higher than last year. Unfortunately for devotees, the prices will rise even more.
High prices of fruits and vegetables in the city have increased the worries of devotees during the Chhath puja. Consumption of selected fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the celebration however, the prices have added to their woes.
According to information, this year the prices of several puja items have increased around 25 per cent to 35 per cent. The shopkeepers informed that due to increased rates people are forced to think twice before making purchases.
City-based vegetable traders informed that the production of vegetables and fruits have been badly affected due to poor monsoon rains. Prices of sugar cane, coconut, apple, date and orange have witnessed an increase of 10 to 15 percent.
Vegetables, like bottle gourd that was being sold at Rs 20- 30 Kg is now being sold at Rs 30 per Kg in the market. Prices of pumpkin, peas, ash gourd, and bitter gourd have also been increased manifolds.
Puja items like coconuts are available at Rs 15 per piece, almond Rs 130-150 per Kg, cashew nuts Rs 300-Rs 320 Kg, vermillion is being sold at Rs 600 Kg.
Mahesh Gupta, who has opened a coconut and lemon shop near Sakchi, said: “The prices of these items will spiral in coming days owing to steep rise in demand. Devotees generally prefer to purchase all the necessary items before pehli arghya. The prices go north on the day of pehli arghya and doosri arghya.”