GUWAHATI, Jan 8 � The ongoing Bhogali Utsav at the Zoo Road Tiniali point here has turned out to be a crowd puller with traditional delicacies and dishes of different ethnic communities being displayed in the stalls. The exhibition-cum-sale fair that got off on January 6 is an effort to evoke the ambience of rural Assam as well as to highlight the various nutritious dishes of the ethnic communities prepared in barbeque style or boiled.
The exhibition that will conclude on January 13 has attracted the participation of several groups from across the State. With the much-awaited Bhogali Bihu just round the corner, the exhibition site is being thronged by visitors but the pinch in the wallet is intense for the middle class people.
The price of every item that is integral to celebrating the festival has gone up. The price of Bora rice is between Rs 70 to 80 per kg, while the price of different varieties of Cheera is above Rs 80 per kg. The price of molasses is Rs 120 per kg. Last year the price of Bora rice was between Rs 40 to Rs 60 per kg depending on the quality.
A visitor to the exhibition said that for the middle-income group people celebrating the festival has become a difficult task. �Every year the prices of all things go up. This year I have found the prices very high. The participants say labour cost and transportation cost has doubled so they are compelled to raise the prices of the traditional delicacies,� said Ajoy Gogoi.
A participant said that if the prices of the items on display are not hiked then the profit margin would be very minimal. She pointed out that the cost of a pair of coconut is Rs 60 to 90. Coconut is a major ingredient in the preparation of many traditional delicacies.
Apart from traditional delicacies, the exhibition is also offering a wide range of textile products. But the main attraction seemed to be the stalls that were offering pork, prawn, chicken, caterpillar, crab etc., barbeque to be washed down with a wide range of home- made beer.