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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Summer is here, lemon prices in Noida jump to 200/kg in a week

NOIDA: If you find the lemon wedge missing from that plate of salad or the nimbu-paani not tasting as refreshing, blame it on the price rise.
Lemon prices in the city have shot up to Rs 200 a kg from Rs 150 barely a week ago. While vegetable sellers blamed it on the increasing demand during summers, those selling chaats, shikanji and lime water said they had no option but to cut down on the use of the tangy fruit.
So, lemon wedges have vanished off plates of kebabs and salads and a glass of nimbu-paani is being made with only half a lemon instead of the whole one.
On Friday afternoon, Class 12 student Tapas Ranjan found something missing in his lemonade he bought from the usual vendor near Sector 12. “In summer, I take nimbu-pani regularly. But the glass of lemonade today isn’t as refreshing. It tasted more like plain water and less lemony,” he told TOI.
Shrikant Rawat, who sold him the drink, said he had little option but to check the use of lemons.
“Now, lemons are selling for Rs 150-200 a kg. This means one lemon will cost me Rs 10 on an average. The price of a glass of lemonade is Rs 10 too. If I use one whole lemon for the drink, what will I earn?” asked Rawat, who sells peanuts in winter.
Vegetable sellers in the city’s retail markets agreed that lemon prices have soared in the past week.
Sonu Kumar, a vegetable seller in Indira Market in Sector 27, had come with a basket of lemons on Friday.
“One lemon is being sold for Rs 10. Last week, the retail price of lemon was Rs 120 a kg. Today, it’s selling for Rs 200. We get lemon and other vegetables from the Azadpur and Ghazipur mandis in Delhi. The prices have increased in the mandis only. So, we have to increase our rates as well,” he said.
Ranjeet, another vegetable seller in Sector 27, said there were different qualities of lemon in the market. “The good quality will cost Rs 200 a kg. There is another quality, which is being sold for Rs 150,” he said.
For homemakers, it’s an increase in the pocket pinch. “Lemon rates have increased considerably. Last week, I bought 250 grams of lemon for Rs 30. Today, it is costing me Rs 50. Someone should keep a check on the prices,” said Anu Chauhan, a resident of Sector 41.
Retail vegetable vendors feared the price might rise further. In March last year, lemon prices had soared to Rs 300 a kg in the city.
The management of the Noida Phool Mandi, which oversees the vegetable markets too, said it would conduct a drive to ensure customers were not overcharged.
“We get lemons either from Delhi or Karnataka. The demand for the lemon has increased with the onset of summer. In the wholesale market, a kilo of lemon is being sold for Rs 80-110. We will conduct a drive here and take action if retailers are found overcharging,” said Sanjay Kumar Singh, the mandi secretary.
Dr DK Gupta, the chairperson of Felix Hospital in Sector 137, explained that lemons should be used in different drinks to keep people hydrated in summer. “It is also a good source of vitamin C, which saves people from sunstroke. Normally, lemon prices are known to soar in summer,” he said.

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