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Despite rain scare, prices, supplies hold
A Ganesh Nadar | July 05, 2006 15:29 IST
And as the downpour continues, it is not the big malls that are reaping the business but small shops that are seeing increased sales.
If you don't find bread and vegetables at the nearest vendor's, blame it on the city's terrible state of roads. Enquiries with the wholesale market reveal that while supplies from outside Mumbai have been coming in regularly; it's the delivery inside the city that has been disrupted in the rains and its collateral damage.
As wholesalers trucks find the water-logged, traffic-snagged roads difficult to navigate, small traders have found their own way of getting the goods to their shop. K Raju, a vegetable vendor at Mahim, says he along with five others ferried the vegetables in a taxi on their own rather than wait for the delivery to be made by truck.
As for the prices itself, there has not been much of an impact so far on account of the rains. Green vegetables are available for Rs 24 a kilo while potatoes cost Rs 12 a kilo.
Onions are available for Rs 8 a kilo and tomatoes for Rs 24.
Groceries are faring better than vegetables. Merchant N V Shah said so far provisions have been delivered regularly. As for the prices, they had already gone up when the cost of petrol and diesel went up, and this has acted as a sort of cushion now, warding off any further hike after the rains began.
While something as common as bread is available in Mahim, other parts of the city are finding the loaf hard to spot. It's not that the supplies have been disrupted, but that the demand has suddenly spiked -� fuelled, no doubt, by the Mumbai-ite stocking up provisions fearing a 26/7 like situation. In Andheri bread was not available yesterday evening, but traders said they would get fresh supplies later today. In parts of Kandivali, too, bread and vegetables disappeared quickly as the demand outpaced supply. Supply of milk has also been erratic in parts of the city.
Nilesh Bhai, president of the retail merchants association in Shivaji Park, Dadar, said he was disappointed with the delivery system. He said when they ordered goods from the wholesale market in New Mumbai, supplies were not always on time, despite there being enough stocks in the market.
He said while the city had stocks to last the next four days, prices would go up if the rain persisted.
The only commodity whose price has taken a beating of sorts is sugar. A trader in the wholesale market revealed that its price has dropped by Rs 10-Rs 15 per 100 kg since the rains began. Traders are eager to get rid of it since moisture affects sugar. If the rains continue, its price could fall further, the trader said.
The arrival of rice, wheat and pulses in the wholesale market has been normal, which has led to the prices remaining steady.