No patakkha joy, onion tears may spoil your mood this Diwali
Diwali this year will be much more subdued and may be more eco-friendly than the ones in the past as the Supreme Court today put several restrictions on bursting firecrackers.
Diwali this year will be much more subdued and may be more eco-friendly than the ones in the past as the Supreme Court today put several restrictions on bursting firecrackers. While SC order will help combat pollution, especially in cities like Delhi, what may, however, dampen the mood of many are rising onion prices. Reports from different parts of the country show the onion may sell above the Rs 50 mark by Diwali.
In Delhi-NCR, small and medium-sized onions were already selling at Rs 30-40 in retail on Monday. Onion prices have almost doubled in Maharashtra and about 40% in Delhi in the past one week. Maharashtra is the largest onion producing state in the country. Developments in the state's market affect onion prices in other states as well.
All is not well in Maharashtra. At Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Nashik, the prices have gone up by 100% in the last few days. During Diwali, the supply of onion is expected to be lower because the drought-like situation in Maharashtra has resulted in low Kharif output.
The Economic Times reported yesterday that Maharashtra wholesale market will remain closed during Diwali. This will further reduce the supply of onions. The Lasalgaon APMC in Nashik will be closed for 7-8 days during Diwali too.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, attempts have been made to control onion prices. According to a report by news agency PTI, cooperative Nafed has started offloading 200 tonnes of onion daily from Monday onwards in the national capital from the government's buffer stock.
"We were off-loading 75-100 tonnes of onions from the buffer stock in the last ten days. Now, we have decided to release more quantity, at least 200 tonnes, on a daily basis in the wholesale markets," Nafed managing director Sanjeev K Chadha told the news agency.
Chadha further said, "We are going to release buffer stock of onion in the open market till the first week of December, by then arrival of new kharif crop will be in full swing." The jury is still out on whether this will help stop the tears from flowing, but one thing is for sure, the mood, going into one of the biggest festivals of the year, will be sombre.