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Vegetable prices skyrocket in Shillong, Ghy

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Food items dearer in city as compared to neighbouring state

Our Bureau

SHILLONG/GUWAHATI, June 17: The prices of vegetables have shot up in Shillong and Guwahati due to rains and other factors, raising concerns among people about the cost of living and affordability of essential goods.
In Guwahati, the prices of potato and onion have gone up from Rs 25 a kg to Rs 30 a kg and Rs 30 a kg to Rs 40 a kg respectively. In Shillong, potato is being sold at Rs 35-40 a kg and onion at Rs 40-45 a kg.
There is a steep increase in the price of tomato. It costs Rs 60 a kg in Guwahati, up from Rs 40 a kg. In Shillong, it is being sold at Rs 60-65 a kg.
Green chillies in Guwahati are priced at Rs 200 a kg. In Shillong, they cost Rs 280-300 a kg.
The price of French beans in Guwahati has seen a sharp increase – from Rs 60 a kg to Rs 140 a kg. It is Rs 150-160 a kg in Shillong. The price of ridge gourds has slightly decreased in Guwahati to Rs 70-80 a kg from Rs 100 a kg. It costs more or less the same in Shillong.
The prices of fruits have also gone up. Mangoes (Langra) are priced at Rs 100 a kg in both cities, up from Rs 80 a kg in Guwahati. Plums cost Rs 160 a kg in Guwahati and Rs 180-200 a kg in Shillong. Apples are priced at Rs 200-250 a kg, while the price of bananas ranges from Rs 100 to Rs 120 a dozen in Shillong.
The prices of grocery items are relatively stable. In Guwahati, rice (Barpeta Aijong and BPT) costs Rs 50-55 per kg, while Shillong reports stable prices without specific varieties mentioned. Lentil (Masoor and Moong) in Guwahati is priced at Rs 100 and Rs 120 a kg respectively. They cost around Rs 140 a kg in Shillong. The price of mustard oil in Guwahati has increased by Rs 10-15, now costing Rs 140-180 per litre. Their prices in Shillong range from Rs 140 to Rs 170 a litre.
Meat and fish prices are notably high in both cities. In Guwahati, broiler chicken (whole) is being sold at Rs 150 to Rs 180 a kg. The price of dressed broiler chicken is Rs 260-280 while local chicken is Rs 550-580 a kg. In Shillong, broiler chicken (whole) costs Rs 200-220, and dressed broiler chicken Rs 300-320 a kg.
The prices of fish (Rohu) in Guwahati range from Rs 300 to Rs 500 a kg for local varieties, while in Shillong, it costs Rs 220-240 a kg (imported from Andhra Pradesh) and Rs 400 a kg for local varieties.
Mutton is priced at Rs 700 per kg in Guwahati and Rs 700-750 per kg in Shillong. The prices of pork and beef in Shillong are Rs 480 and Rs 500 a kg respectively.
In Shillong, the prices of commodities are slightly lower in Iewduh market compared to Laban and Laitumkhrah markets.
Both cities are grappling with the high prices for essential commodities, which are attributed to transportation costs, damage to crops due to rain and floods, and stock shortages. Guwahati generally shows more detailed price fluctuations for specific vegetables and groceries compared to Shillong.
“My children love Langra mangoes and plums. So, I have no option but to buy them. The mangoes were bought for Rs 100 per kg. They cost Rs 80 per kg a few days ago. The plums cost Rs 160 per kg today but I take the trouble to come to the Ganeshguri market as the quality here appears to be better compared to other places,” said Sabita Das, a homemaker.
Consumers in both cities are struggling to manage within their budgets, highlighting significant concerns about the cost of living and affordability of essential goods.
The consumers in Shillong are aggrieved that the district administration has not regulated the prices. They said the prices of vegetables, fruits and meat should be displayed by the traders.
A consumer in Iewduh market said, “Five years ago, Rs 200 could buy a whole bag of vegetables. I have spent Rs 500 today and my bag is half-filled.”
Another consumer said, “The cost of living in Meghalaya is high. In Guwahati, you can buy a plate of food with Rs 50. Here, transport costs drive the prices up.” She added, “Wages here do not match the cost of living.”
Yet another consumer said, “People doing some contractual jobs here earn hardly Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 a month. Given house rent and other expenses, you struggle to run your family.”

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