Darj Bandh causing hike in vegetable prices in Sikkim

Gangtok, 28 Jun:

In a meeting between vegetable wholesalers and the Food and Civil Supplies Department on Tuesday, new wholesale rates for essential commodities were fixed and the new rate chart was put up today. The new rates factor in the hike in prices due to the ongoing bandh in Darjeeling.

Sikkim is completely dependent on NH10 for transporting essential supplies and since it shares the highway with Darjeeling, any disturbance in the neighbouring hills inadvertently affects the state as well.

The ongoing unrest regarding Gorkhaland has meant higher transportation costs for wholesalers here. Wholesaler at Lall Bazaar, Sunil Kumar Prasad, says that prior to the bandh he used to get supplies from Siliguri five days a week but now supply has gone down to once a week. His last delivery was the day before but as of now his shop is well stocked.

Another wholesaler, Upendra Rajjat rued about the transportation problem as well. Vehicles willing to transport supplies are few and they are asking for double the normal price, he informs.

It is due to this that prices of vegetables have gone up, they inform.

"We have to pay Rs 5 more per kg of vegetables and fruits where earlier we had to pay only Rs 2 per kg," says Mr Prasad.

Mr Rajjat informs that the rate of tomatoes in the market right now is Rs 60 per kg. The supply comes from Bangalore and the rate might increase in days to come, he adds.