Festive spirits down as prices soar

High prices of essential goods of Ayudha puja and a cloudy weather have dampened the festive spirit this season.

Ash gourd, a must-have for the puja, was sold at Rs 70 per kg while a garland of chrysanthemum was priced at Rs 90-100.  People making purchases for the puja were in for a rude shock as the price of ash gourd was never so high.

“Earlier, we used to buy ash gourd depending on its size. But today, it costs Rs 70 per kg. The more the weight, the higher the price. I may have to pay Rs 300 if the asinorum weighed 4-5 kilogram. Without the ash gourd, the puja will not be complete and the price rise is indeed shocking,” said Nagaraj, a customer.

Besides, a plantain stem, which would cost Rs 10 apiece, is priced at Rs 20. Plantain stems from Vikota, Mulbagal, Srinivaspur and Bangarpet have been brought to the market, but there were not many takers. Even fruits were priced high.

But there were a few items which really sold like hot cakes. Car wash pipes sold by a few youth from Bangalore attracted many passersby in the town. As washing and decorating vehicles is an integral part of Ayudha puja, these pipes that are as long as 10 to 20 metres were sold for Rs 200 to Rs 300.

“In times of drought, the price rise on almost all the goods, has forced people to think twice about celebrating festivals,” observed Srinivas, a customer at the market.

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