Flower vendors suffer losses as prices increase

 Spiralling prices of flowers during Ganesh Chaturthi festival this year has put a damper on buyers, but it was vendors who suffered losses as they dumped huge quantities of of flowers due to poor business.

Every year, around 20 vendors, including a few kiosks in municipal market in Upper Bazaar, and vendors outside the market and city bus stand cater to the needs of the town residents during the festival.

It is estimated, that the quantity of flowers sold during the festival doubles to 5,000 kg per day from 2,500 kg per day otherwise, according to sources.

"But the cost of a single garland of 'xevtim' flowers with a few others strung together shot up to Rs 200 this year," Santosh Naik, a buyer said. On other days, the cost of the flowers, which are imported from neighbouring states, is 120 per kg. A garland sold at less than 150 last year.

The garlands were more costlier on Wednesday, the first day of Chaturthi. "Flowers were sold for more than even 200," Naik said.

But vendors were amenable to a bargain and sold the flowers for 180.

"This hit us as we could not afford to sell at a lesser rate, as we purchased them from middlemen at higher rates and also because of overheads of running our shops," a kiosk owner said.

But flower sellers estimate that they sold less flowers than the previous years due to soaring prices. "We sold more on the first day, but it was less than the usual demand, and the sale went down in the next few days," S Khandeparker said. The flowers have a shelf life of only three days. As the flowers wilted and no buyers came, the vendors had to dump them. "We have discarded at least one-fifth of our stock," a vendor said. [TOI]