HYDERABAD: Post the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State Governments announcing complete lockdown of states till March 31 in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, vegetable supply has drastically reduced to 46 per cent in the Bowenpally Market Yard here. Since March 23, due to the non-availability of vegetables, there was a sudden price hike of almost all varieties of vegetables and the prices now range anywhere between Rs 60 and Rs 80. Surprisingly, one Kg of Tomato now costs Rs. 100 in most of the places due to the lockdown effect.

Even though there is price hike, a large percentage of the city's population started purchasing vegetables and a huge rush is being witnessed at all Rythu Bazaars. People started purchasing vegetables in bulk quantities and stocking them to last till 31st of this month. This has resulted in sudden price hike of vegetables by the traders who are trying to make a profit out of this situation.

Speaking about the current situation, Telangana Marketing Department Director Lakshmibai said that vegetable sales registered a sudden spike on Friday and Saturday which preceded the Janata curfew on Sunday. In addition, on Sunday all markets were closed while vegetable imports to the markets were halted, which resulted in sharp increase of vegetable prices.

Lakshmibai assured that vegetable imports into the state will increase from Tuesday and with that, prices will subsequently come down. She said market staff will also monitor traders who are charging exorbitantly and they will punished as per relevant laws, she said.

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