JONAI, Sept 19 � Just after the consumers heaved a sigh of relief from stabilised onion prices, the steep hike in raw vegetables, fish and meat prices at Jonai and bordering Arunachal Pradesh have now hurt the common man�s budget.
The prices of paat haak (local variety of green leafy vegetables), fruits and local variety of fishes have almost doubled and tripled when compared to last year, while vegetables imported from Shillong, Bomdila (Arunachal Pradesh) and other areas are sold at an exorbitant rate.
It is alleged that the vendors, taking advantage of the adverse weather conditions and non-availability of local products, are prone to charge exorbitant prices for vegetables from the consumers by offering lame excuse like high transportation cost, etc in bringing such items from Bodilla, Shillong and other parts of Assam.
Currently, the average cost of a kg of carrot is Rs 120, cabbage Rs 40, potato Rs 30, tomato Rs 80 to Rs 100, bittergourd Rs 60, brinjal Rs 60, long bean (dangbody) Rs 60, squash and potol Rs 50 to Rs 60, and ladies finger Rs 40 respectively.
On the other hand, the prices of fish and meat are hitting the roof in Jonai markets. Local varieties of fish are sold at exorbitant rates ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 600 per kg. Similarly, mutton sells at anything between Rs 300 to Rs 350, while broiler chicken and pork are sold for Rs 200 per kg. On the other hand, eggs sell at Rs 60 per dozen, against the officially fixed rate of Rs 48 per dozen.
In the meantime, the locals have criticised the vendors of vegetables, fish and meat for arbitrarily hiking the prices beyond their budget. They also blamed the inert role of the sub-divisional administration for not monitoring the sky-rocketing prices of the essential commodities.
�The local administration has no control, whatsoever, over the soaring market prices. The locals claim that the vendors fix the rates of vegetables and other foodstuff on their own. We are compelled to purchase vegetables and other foodstuff at higher prices in order to fulfil our daily requirement. The Consumer Affairs Department, it seems, is giving a free hand to the unscrupulous vendors to sell commodities at their own suitable rates,� alleged some local consumers.
The prices of common fruits such as mango, apple, and grapes are skyrocketing in the Jonai market. Prices of fruits are almost the same in the fruit markets of Jonai (Assam) and neighbouirng Arunachal Pradesh. Apples reportedly brought from China and New Zealand cost around Rs 200 to Rs 220 per kg and pomegranate brought from Nasik and Hyderabad cost around Rs 240 to Rs 250 per kg.