Prices of fruits and flowers have doubled ahead of Ganesha Chaturthi, forcing city residents to shell out more for the items deemed important for the festival.
A kilo of apple costs between Rs 80 and Rs 90, depending on the quality and variety, while pomegranate, Banana Yelakki, Banana pachhabale and Mosambi have also soared from Rs 50 to 80; Rs 43 to 48; Rs 13 to 14 and Rs 25 to 27 respectively.
K R Market Traders’ Welfare Association president G M Diwakar said: "It’s not unusual for the prices of flowers and fruits to rise during the festival. The demand is good this time and we expect good business.”
With the cost of flowers shooting through the roof, homemakers are finding it difficult to buy flowers for the celebrations. Jasmine and Kanakambara(Crossandra infundibuliformis) cost Rs 800 per kg while Sugandharaja(Polianthes tuberosa) has crossed Rs 300 per kg.
Others such as rose, marigold and Sevanthi(Chrysanthemums) have also become prohibitively expensive. Vendors said prices of all vegetables including leafy vegetables may increase by at least 10 to 20%.
Merchants at KR Market said the price hike this season is aggravated by the demand and supply imbalance. For instance, the demand for flowers is far more than their supply. Monday’s Bharat Bandh made it harder for the merchants to sell their perishable stock.
“Usually business would pick up in the last three days (running up to the festival), but we suffered losses due to the Bandh. Though the market was open, no one came to buy fruits or vegetables,” Diwakar said.