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Lorry strike: Veggie prices rise after fall in arrivals
Wholesale price of vegetables in the Koyambedu market rose marginally on Tuesday due to the ongoing lorry strike. Arrival of trucks carrying vegetable consignments to the Koyambedu market came down by over 40 per cent on the second day of the strike, resulting in a spike in wholesale vegetable price by over 20 per cent, according to traders.
VR Soundararajan, adviser of Koyambedu Wholesale Vegetable Traders Association, said at least 350 lorries reach Koyambedu daily, but it came down to 200 on Tuesday.
“Most of Chennai’s vegetable requirement is met by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as the Nilgiris and southern districts contribute to neighbouring regions. Chennai has no supply from adjoining districts and hence the reliance on the 350-plus trucks from other states.”
“We receive 70 truckloads of tomato daily. On Tuesday, only 40 lorries reached the market. Onion consignment from Bellary was a bit better than tomatoes from Bengaluru,” said Soundararajan, suggesting a marginal spike in the price of staple (vegetables) like onion and tomato.
Notably, price of vegetables like green chillies were too hot to handle.
For instance, the wholesale price of green chillies, which hovered around Rs 20 per kg during the last two months, increased to around 85 per kg on Tuesday. Wholesale price of beans, beetroot, carrot and turnips increased by a little over 20 per cent up to Rs 10 per kg, while ginger price rose more than marginally to Rs 80 per kg.
Soundararajan, who forecast another 10 per cent jump in wholesale price on Wednesday if the strike continued, told DTNext that they would not have felt the pinch of the strike on the second day if the government had set up sufficient cold storage units in the state.
Even villages in north have cold storage units, but the second most populated metropolitan city, which houses one of the largest wholesale vegetable markets in Asia, hardly has any storage facility sufficient to preserve agricultural produce, he said, alleging that representations made with successive governments have fallen on deaf ears.