No respite from skyrocketing price hike in Assam

No respite from skyrocketing price hike in Assam

No respite from skyrocketing price hike No respite from skyrocketing price hike

GUWAHATI: Biplab Bora, a vegetable seller in Guwahati has been thinking of alternative livelihood options these days more than anything.

His wooden cart has half of the amount of vegetables than he usually procures from the wholesale market of Fancy Bazar in Guwahati.

At around 7 in the morning, he starts going door to door in Beltola area to sell vegetables. He goes back to his house in the Last Gate area by 4pm.

“The whole day I sell vegetables and hardly make a profit of Rs.200. These days I only keep two and a half kgs of each vegetable. People don’t buy in bulk anymore,” Bora, 35, said.

Around the week, he has been selling tomatoes at Rs 80 per kg, pumpkin at Rs.50, ladyfinger at Rs.80 among others.

“Defying the scorching heat, I am working for 7-8 hours per day to make a profit of Rs.200. Not only the customers, but vegetable sellers are also suffering because of such abnormal price rise. I feel so bad to tell about the price when asked”. Bora said.

“Keep these tomatoes. They are from Shillong. You can keep it up to twenty days. The price will rise again in the next few days.” He pleaded.

In the Ajanta Path area of Guwahati, Rejina Khatun was seen picking up water hyacinth from a wetland.

“I have been feeding water hyacinth to my family. I don’t have the money to buy vegetables. I cook it with little salt and without oil. “Khatun said.

She is a goat herder and looks after a family of five.

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From mustard oil, onions, pulses to petrol and diesel-  abnormal hike in price has made a hole in the pockets of the larger section of the people. While student organisations are sitting in demonstration in demand of controlling the price of essential commodities, the opposition parties are going to fight the by-polls with price us as a poll issue.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) declared a Satyagraha in all the district headquarters of Assam on October 22 against price rise.

Bipul Rabha, President-in-Charge of AASU has said that the student organisation would stage Satyagraha against the “anti-people attitude” of the government.

“People from all walks of life are suffering because of abnormal price hikes of LPG, Petrol, Diesel and essential items. The price of petrol is over hundred per litre. Because of this, prices of essential items are increasing.” He said.

As on Tuesday, the price of Petrol is Rs. 101.80 per litre. Diesel price stands at 94.27 per litre.

Deepak Saikia, a grocery store owner has also admitted that due to price hikes, the sale of many items has been hampered.

“A person who would come for monthly grocery shopping, if earlier used to purchase 2 litres of mustard oil, now a day will purchase only one litre. Same goes with pulses. People also don’t go for flavoured rice much.

Deepak is selling onions at Rs. 60.

“The price of mustard oil of various brands has been increased by Rs. 20-30 per litre. The same goes with pulses.” Deepak said.

The issue of inflation remains to be a major poll issue for the state of Assam ahead of upcoming by polls in five constituencies. Election is slated to be held on October 30th. However, going by history, Assembly election 2021 was also fought keeping price rise a main issue against the BJP, however it had a little impact on the ruling party.

“Governments will come with promises of reducing the price of essential commodities. But nothing changes much except people like us getting poorer and poorer.” said Biplab Bora, while pushing his cart into the lane in the hope of emptying it by dusk.

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