The rythu bazaar here on Tuesday witnessed a mad rush of consumers who thronged the place to buy rationed onion at the subsidised price of ₹25 a kg.
The per-kg price in the open market crossed the ₹150-mark.
People were seen standing in queues right from the early hours of the day and till noon.
With the situation turning unruly at one point of time, the police had to step in and pacify the crowds competing with each other to lay their hands on their quota of onion.
Assistant Director (Marketing) P. Gopi told The Hindu that the situation was likely to continue for the next few weeks in view of the acute fall in production in the States from where it was being procured.
“At present, we are procuring onion from the farmers in Kurnool, who are quoting ₹100 per kg. In the retail market, the price has crossed the ₹150-mark. People are descending on the rythu bazaar as we are selling onion at a subsidised price. As per the government’s orders, we are procuring stocks from Kurnool area only,” Mr. Gopi said.
In the last couple of weeks, the Marketing Department in Chittoor had procured 78 tonnes. “In the next few days, we are expecting additional stocks. There is a proposal to sell 5 kg onion instead of 1 kg now,” he said.
Meanwhile, consumers elsewhere in the district are unhappy as the subsidised sale is not extended to the municipalities and major panchayats. There are also allegations that a major chunk of the stock is being diverted to favour influential leaders and officials before reaching the rythu bazaars.
‘Quality not satisfactory’
Special Correspondent in Anantapur writes:
The best quality and large-sized onions were sold at ₹119 a kg in the city. The smaller ones sold by the hawkers on push-carts were priced at ₹85 a kg.
In the rythu bazaar, only 2 kg per person was being sold at the subsidised price, that too after showing the Aadhaar card.
The quality was, however, not satisfactory, as most of the buyers said that 40% to 50% of the vegetable was going waste.
‘Open more counters’
Staff Reporter in Vizianagaram writes:
Serpentine queues were testing the patience of consumers at the four rythu bazaars where onion was being supplied. As the price had gone up to ₹90 per kg in the open market, the consumers were forced to wait for at least three hours to get 1 kg.
The district administration is unable to supply more than 1,000 kg per day at each rythu bazaar following delay in the arrival of additional supplies from Kurnool and other places.
“We are forced to wait in 1-km-long queue to get just 1 kg onion. The government should open more counters,” said J. Lakshmi, a resident of the Cantonment area.