Tomato prices have gone through the roof in recent days. It's selling for as high as Rs 100 per kg in parts of north India. Protesting the recent surge in tomato prices, the Congress party has opened, what they are calling, the State Bank of Tomatoes in Lucknow .
The Tomato Bank opens at 10 am and shuts at 5 pm every day. People are asked to visit the bank and deposit whatever amount of tomatoes they can afford. The bank promises a return of 5 times on the initial tomato deposit.
Agriculture authorities have said that rains in Madhya Pradesh and Rajashtan have caused some damage to the crop. Also, there are transportation issues with trucks taking more than the normal time due to the rains.
Lucknow (UP): In a unique protest against the rising prices of the tomatoes, Congress opens bank called “State Bank of Tomato”. pic.twitter.com/lNpAaexgMu— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 2, 2017
Believing in what was promised by the Congress, a customer has deposited 0.5 Kg tomatoes in the bank. News agency ANI tweeted about the customer who said: "I have deposited 0.5 Kg tomatoes, will get 1 kg after 6 months. I'm 103-year-old, never thought have to see this."
I have deposited 0.5 Kg tomatoes, will get 1 kg after 6 months. I'm 103-year-old, never thought have to see this: Srikrishna Verma, customer pic.twitter.com/PlXdnSYGvK— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 2, 2017
The Congress' protest has come after tomato prices skyrocketed due to short supply after heavy rainfall. Price of tomatoes in Delhi has crossed Rs 100 per kg, while in Mumbai it is Rs 80, Rs 57 in Chennai and Rs 95 in Kolkata.
Last week, Mother Dairy was selling the kitchen staple at Rs 92 per kg through its 300 retail stores in Delhi-NCR, online grocery platforms like Big Basket and Grofers were offering it at nearly Rs 100 per kg here. Local vendors are selling tomatoes in the Rs 80-100 per kg range depending on the quality.
Prices have shot up about four times since the beginning of June when tomatoes were being sold at about Rs 25 per kg in the Delhi-National Capital Region market.
Azadpur Tomato Merchants Association President Ashok Kaushik said that supplies have been hit badly in the national capital as the crop in neighbouring states has been damaged due to heavy rains followed by heat. The supplies from Haryana have stopped as the harvesting there has been completed early and the current arrival in the market is from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, he said.
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha are the major tomato growing states.