Bangalore, Sept 8, 2013: The one positive aspect that shoppers this Gowri-Ganesha festival took home this time around was that prices of fruits have not shot up dramatically, like it happens every year. The fruits have clearly beaten the pressures of inflation.
The prices of fruits have remained within their reach, said buyers on Saturday, the festival eve. The markets in the City recorded heavy footfalls. “This time, prices have not gone up much,” Rajamma, a fruit vendor at the City market, said.
Apple, the price of which escalates to as high as Rs 130 a kg during the festive season, is being sold at Rs 80 (normal price), vendors said. Sapota, banana and sweet lime are priced as low as Rs 30 a kg, while pomegranate and custard apple cost Rs 100.
However, what comes as a dampener is that people are not able to shop liberally, given that flowers are offsetting the price advantage that fruits are offering. Jasmine costs Rs 400 per kg and lilly is priced at Rs 250, Diwakar, president of the KR Market Vendors’ Association, said.
Krishna, a flower vendor, said rose and Sugandharaja were selling at Rs 250 and Rs 350 a kg, respectively.
“Since the market rates and those with the local vendor are nearly the same, I purchased the flowers near my house only,” said Lata Raju, a resident of Mahalakshmi Layout.
City roads choked
There were huge traffic jams on roads leading to Majestic, Shantinagar and other bus stands, from where Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses depart. This marked the beginning of a long weekend, which will culminate with Ganesha Chaturthi on Monday.
For the festival, KSRTC is operating 1,000 additional buses to various destinations, a senior official said, adding that this is about 300 less than the number of additional buses operated in 2012.
“We have the capacity to operate more buses. We have completed one day (September 6) already, and 1,000 buses seem sufficient,” he said.
Pointing out that the ongoing Namma Metro work and space congestion at Kempegowda Bus Station (Majestic) are causing inconvenience to the commuters, he said the Corporation had made arrangements to operate additional bus services with advance booking facility from various pick-up points across Bangalore.
“These premium bus services with reservation facility will operate from Vijayanagar TTMC, Navrang, Mysore Road Satellite Bus Station, Banashankari TTMC, Malleswaram 18th Cross,” he said. The Corporation has made arrangements to operate unreserved additional buses from Kempegowda Bus Station to various destinations. The buses towards Shimoga without reservation will be operated from BMTC service road.
Green call in vain
The call from various agencies for eco-friendly Ganesha idols does not seem to have yielded the desired result as idols made of Plaster of Paris and coloured with paints containing lead were on sale everywhere.
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike had made a fervent appeal to buy only clay idols as they do not pollute the water bodies at the time of immersion.
They had even warned the idol makers of stringent action, along with penalty, if their directions were not heeded. Yet such idols were being sold at almost all the stalls.