Vendor sells tomatoes for Rs 25/kg in Gudiyattam
In addition to lower rates, the mobile vendors allowing customers to pick and choose was also back in vogue as many selected the tomatoes according to their choice and requirement.
VELLORE: Residents of Gudiyattam town literally stopped on their tracks when they heard a mobile vendor screamed ‘tomato Rs 25 a kg’ on Monday. Needless to say, residents soon purchased the vegetable in bulk that is 4 kg per head for Rs 100.
When reporters asked the vendor for details, he bluntly refused to open up stating that if the news gets out, then traders might attack him for selling tomato at such cheap rate, when its price in Gudiyattam market ranged between Rs 80 and Rs 100 depending on the size.
In addition to lower rates, the mobile vendors allowing customers to pick and choose was also back in vogue as many selected the tomatoes according to their choice and requirement. He kept the vehicle engine running while handling sales fearing harassment by regular and local traders. Tomato price at Vellore Nethaji Market was between Rs 100 and Rs 120 sources said.
Asked how he was able to manage at such rates he said, “I procure it directly from farmers in both AP and Karnataka,” leading to the realisation that though almost all traders in Vellore source their produce from the same area, but kept prices high aimed at making a fast buck. Ironically, the price with other vendors in Gudiyattam on Wednesday was Rs 100 for 2 kg.
High prices bring human venality to fore
The rising cost of tomatoes was also a time when human venality was exposed as even those who could afford to buy the vegetable tried various excuses to get them free.
Speaking to DT Next, social activist Dinesh Saravanan said, “When the price of tomatoes was around Rs 120 a kg, I felt compelled to help those at the bottom of the social ladder. We identified 50 Irula families, purchased a crate of tomatoes and handed over a kilo to each of the families.” However, back home he found a crowd waiting for more free tomatoes from him. “I had to explain them patiently that I helped only those who could not buy even a kg,” he said.