GUWAHATI, Jan 12 � Prices of essential items have soared up considerably with the advent of Bhogali Bihu, making the helpless buyers pay through the nose.
With only a day left for the preparations for Bhogali Bihu, the festival of plenty, the people are left with no other option but to pay the rates quoted by the traders to enjoy the festivities.
The prices of Bihu must - haves like sesame seeds (til), jaggery (gur), flat rice (sira) etc., have shot up significantly in the past two weeks.
The price of til ranges between Rs 100 and Rs 140 in the markets of Guwahati. Being an essential item of Bihu, til is used for making laru and pitha, the Bihu delicacies. Another ingredient of the delicious pithas is coconut, which is selling at Rs 50 to Rs 60 per pair.
Jaggery prices are varying between Rs 65 to Rs 100 per kg depending on the quality.
�One cannot celebrate Bhogali Bihu without til, gur, sira, etc. So, even if the prices have escalated, we buy these items,� Ajanta Das, a resident of Chandmari, said.
People are buying bora rice at the rate of Rs 40 to Rs 65 per kg, whereas the price of flat rice has shot up to Rs 50 to Rs 65 per kg.
�Around three weeks back, the price of sira was Rs 32 per kg in the Fancy Bazar market, good quality of til was selling at the rate of Rs 80 per kg and the price of khejurar gur was Rs 60 per kg in the retail market. But the prices have increased considerably as the Bhogali Bihu approached,� a housewife in the Rajgarh area said.
Prices of some other items like curd are going to affect people even after Bhogali Bihu. The price of curd in Chandmari area is Rs 76 per litre. In Lachitnagar, the price of special sweet curd is around Rs 100 to Rs 120. Milk cream, which adds richness to the Bihu jalpaan is selling at the price of Rs 360 to Rs 420 per kg.
However, the inflation has failed to dampen the spirits of the people, who eagerly wait for the festival, as markets were seen abuzz with people doing the Bihu shopping. The aroma of joha rice, freshly made larus and pithas are attracting the buyers towards the stalls.
�Though a large section of people buy packaged Bihu delicacies, the tradition of making pithas at home has not been lost completely. People still buy coconuts, til and bora rice to prepare pithas at home,� a shopkeeper at Fancy Bazar said.